Local crashes highlight the importance of properly installing ch - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local crashes highlight the importance of properly installing child safety seats

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BOARDMAN, Ohio - Car crashes are the number one killer of children under 12 and while car seats can greatly reduce the risk of death, a lot of parents unknowingly use them incorrectly.

Two separate accidents on local highways this month are responsible for injuring one child and killing two others.

At this point, law enforcement has determined car seats were not being used correctly in at least one of the crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75% of children are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not being used correctly.

"You want to make sure that seat is not moving one inch side to side or front to back. So it definitely needs to be tightened in the car or that the child is not in the car seat correctly whether the straps are not tight enough, whether that chest clip is not high enough on them. It is really important to have both of them correct," said injury prevention specialist Gia Ramsey with Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children under two should ride in a rear facing seat until they out grow it. Children over the age of two and younger than four should be secured in a forward-facing seat. Booster seats are recommended for children up to 4' 9'' tall. And children under 13 should be restrained in the rear of the car.

"If your child is not secured in the seat correctly, if you get into an accident and their straps are not tight enough, they could really be ejected from their seat depending on the type of accident they are in. And if they are not, if the seat is not tight in the car, that could shift and put them in danger," Ramsey said.

When used properly, car seats can reduce the death risk by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers.

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