Encore Episode: Child Car Safety Seats: Keeping Kiddos Safe

From the Show: Healthy Children
Summary: Keep your kids safe with the current recommendations for car safety seats.
Air Date: 11/6/18
Duration: 19:03
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Benjamin Hoffman, MD
Dr. Ben HoffmanBenjamin Hoffman is a semi-native of New Mexico. He majored in Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley and attended Harvard Medical School. He completed residency training, and a year as Chief Resident, at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Following training, he and his wife, Jane, also a pediatrician, spent four years on the Navajo Nation with the Indian Health Service, where he worked with the community to develop a child passenger safety program. He has been certified as a CPS technician since 1997, and an instructor since 2001, the only practicing pediatrician so certified. From 2000-2011, he was at the University of New Mexico, where he was director of the pediatric residency program, developed and ran a community advocacy training program for pediatric residents, and worked to draft and advocate for childhood injury prevention legislation. 

Ben is a nationally recognized expert in child passenger safety, and leader in the field of community health and advocacy training for pediatric residents. He is a Professor of Pediatrics at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Oregon Health and Science University. There, he is the Director of the Oregon Center for Children and Youth with Special Heath Care Needs, Medical Director of the Tom Sargent Safety Center, and Director of Professional Development. He is also currently he Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury Violence and Poison Prevention, and Director of the Community Pediatrics Training Initiative. He remains very active in child health policy and community advocacy.

Ben and Jane are most proud of their three hilarious kids, although all of them are adults.
Encore Episode: Child Car Safety Seats: Keeping Kiddos Safe
Your job as a parent is to keep your child safe. Car seats are vital for your little ones.

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You can’t leave the hospital without a rear-facing car seat. To keep things simple, consider a seat with a carrier with a base that stays in the car.

There are also convertible seats that can face the rear and be turned around when the baby is older.

Installing child safety seats can be tough. Work with a certified child passenger safety technician in your community before delivery to make seat utilization safe and easy.

Be sure straps are snug.

Bigger Kids
Forward-facing seats have a five-point safety harness. This mimics race car seat belts. Most forward-facing seats are designed for children who weigh 40 to 65 pounds.

Booster seats use the seat belts installed in your car, but they consider the child’s smaller frame. Seat belts fit appropriately across the shoulder and hips with the booster seat. Most kids don’t fit in regular seat belts until they are eight to twelve years old.

Keep your child in the backseat until age thirteen or older. Front-end crashes and airbag deployment can still injure a child.

Used Car Seats
Car seats have an expiration date that is six years from the date of manufacture. Made with materials that degrade over time, car seats become unsafe at that expiration date.

You should know the history of any car seat. If it’s been in a crash, the seat’s integrity may be compromised.

Milestones in your child’s life are typically positive advancements. However, progression to the next car safety seat means a reduction in protection as your child grows. Try to keep your child in the more protective seat as long as possible. Follow the car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for child weight and length for that seat.

Listen as Dr. Benjamin Hoffman joins Melanie Cole, MS, to share details on keeping your child safe in a car seat, along with updated AAP policies on car seats.

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