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Car Safety Tips

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School is almost out and we want to take a moment to remind all the road warriors out there of a few safety precautions. Car travel can be a super way yo bond with your brood. Just keep in mind a few things.

There'??s been a lot of cyber-chatter recently about how child seats are anchored (aka '??latched'?) to the car seat '?? and the safety of some LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) systems. Since more than 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly by parents '?? and since June also marks the beginning of the summer travel season '?? now is a good time to double-check that specific latching mechanism and how your car seat is installed.

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We've teamed up with Britax to give you some tips on how to check your car seat before starting your next summer trip. Sarah Tilton is a Britax Child Passenger Safety Advocate and a Certified CPS Tech Instructor. She says, most cars and car seats manufactured after 2002 must have lower anchors and tethers to attach the child seat to the vehicle. While anchorage systems vary, all are designed to minimize the movement of both the car seat and your child in the event of a crash. For details about how to install the LATCH, please watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=larsTDPgHlI&feature=related

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Once you secure the anchors, verify that your child'??s seat is properly installed by pushing it front-to-back and side-to-side. If the seat does not move more than one inch, the car seat is securely installed in your vehicle.

Despite the best efforts of parents to follow installation instructions, most install car seats incorrectly. To be safe, we urge you visit your local Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technician to certify that your child seat is properly installed. To find a CPS near you visit www.safekids.org.

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Now that the warmer weather has arrived, we also want to remind everyone NEVER TO LEAVE A CHILD IN THE CAR ALONE. Not for a minute to run into the grocery store. SafeKids.org has a updated list of tragedies of young children dying from heat stroke while trapped in a car.

Did you know that a child'??s body heats up 3 to 5 times faster than an adult'??s? It only takes a few short minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated. In just 10 minutes a car'??s temperature can increase by 19 degrees '?? and it continues to rise.

49 children died in 2010--the worst year since records have been kept--of heat injuries caused by being left in a car. Here's a tip: Place a cell phone, PDA, purse, briefcase, gym bag or whatever is to be carried from the car, on the floor in front of a child in a backseat. This triggers adults to see children when they open the rear door and reach for their belongings.

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