Learn how to avoid common mistakes when placing toddlers into car seats.
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Hello! I am Stephanie Tombrello, Executive Director of SafetyBeltSafe, USA. We have been talking about how to protect your toddler or young child to keep them safe in the car. Now, we are going to discuss some of the common errors that parents and other adults make when securing toddlers and young children in the car. One of the most common errors that adults make when securing the toddlers and young children in the car is to turn them around forward facing way too soon. The rear facing position protects children 76% better than the forward facing position. Parents will go to a store and see a forward facing only safety seat, that states that it can be used by children who weigh as little as 20-22 pounds. They have an infant who may not even be a year who weighs that much, and they assume that this is the appropriate seat for that child. We feel strongly that parents need to select a seat that faces the rear of the vehicle until at least 30-35 pounds. Children often can stay in these seats until they are two or ever older. The number one question that parents have is what about my children's legs, but most children like to sit with their knees to the side anyway. It's a natural way for them to sit, and with the larger seats that are designed for children to stay rear-facing longer, there is room for the knees. Another question that many parents have is, will my child's legs be broken? However, in a crash, as can be seen with many of the crash films that are used to show how effective the safety seats are, you will often see that the child's legs fly up in the air because they are not held down by the hip straps. So that's not a big issue. But even if it were, contrast the possibility of a broken foot or leg with the possibility of a broken spine. Now, we have talked about some of the common errors that parents and other adults make when securing toddlers and young children in the car. Next, we are going to talk about what to do if your toddler or young child doesn't want to stay in the safety seat.