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					                    G r e e n w i c h        H o s p i t a l
           I N F A N T        C A R       S E A T      S A F E T Y

           PATIENT/FAMILY INFORMATION SHEET
                     Why are car seats important?
When used correctly, car seats can help reduce and prevent injury and death.
Every state requires that infants and children ride buckled up. Motor vehicle
related injuries and deaths account for 40% of all unintentional injuries to children
ages 14 and under.

             What is the “BEST” car seat for my infant?
The best car seat is one that fits your child’s size and weight and can be
installed correctly in your car. You don’t need to spend a lot of money. All new
car seats must meet a strict government safety standard. New car seats are
recommended for all infants. All new car seats must meet stringent safety
standards. If a car seat is received as a gift, look for the label indicating safety
standards. Never use a car seat that is not labeled or that has been in an
accident.

        How can I be sure my car seat is installed properly?
All car seats come with manufacturer instructions and it is important that you
read both the owner’s manual for the car seat as well as your vehicle’s
owners manual regarding car seat installation. Car seat installation varies
with the type of restraint system in your vehicle. Not every car seat will fit in
every car. It’s a good idea to try the seat in your vehicle prior to purchase. In
addition there are many places you can go for help:

• Greenwich Hospital has trained Child Passenger Safety Seat Technicians
   available to assist you.
• Visit Fairfield County SAFE KIDS on the web at www.fcsafekids.org to
   obtain a list of Certified Car Seat Technicians that can assist you with
   installation FREE of charge.
Remember that the safest place for your children to ride is in the back seat.
                     What types of car seats are available?
  The two most common infant car seats available are as follows:

  1. Infant-only Safety Seats have a separate
      base that can be installed in the vehicle
      with the safety belt and left in place. The
      infant safety seat locks into the base for
      motor vehicle travel and converts to an
      infant carrier outside the vehicle. The infant
      safety seat can also be used without the
      base with the safety belt through an
      alternative belt path.
     What types of car seats are available
                              (continued)?
 2. Convertible Safety Seats: are used facing the rear
    for infants from birth up to 35 pounds depending on
    the seat (be sure to read the owners manual to find
    out the weight and height limits of the seat). When the
    convertible seat is used rear-facing it should be in a
    reclined position at 45 degrees with the harness at or
    just below the child’s shoulder level. Car seats
    should be rear-facing until the child is 1 year old AND
    weighs 20 lbs.


  For forward facing seats the seat should be
  placed in the upright position and the harness
  straps moved into the upper slots (unless you
  have a Britax seat). The seat can be used until
  the child reaches 40 pounds for most models
  (again read your instructions closely) or the child
  exceeds the height limits of the seat.
• Make sure that you are using the proper belt
  path for the seatbelt in the forward facing mode.
  This is usually the path behind the child’s back.
• Be sure to complete and return the
  registration card when you purchase a seat.
  This is the only way the company can contact
  you should the seat be recalled for any
  reason.

 •
                     How can I learn more about car seat safety?
       Car seat safety is covered in the Tender Beginnings baby care classes at
       Greenwich Hospital. Greenwich Hospital also has several certified car seat
       technicians on staff that are specially trained by Fairfield Safe Kids Coalition to
       check your car seat. Greenwich Hospital also has a “Dial-a-Belt” seat on the
       maternity unit to show you how to install your particular seat with the type of seat
       belts that are in your car. If you have questions you may contact any of the
       following resources:
       Organization                       Contact                                    Phone
       Greenwich Hospital                 “Warm Line”                                203.863.3569
       Safe Kids Coalition                Charlie Conway                             203.325.7115
                                        Web Resources
            Safe Kids Coalition: www.fcsafekids.org
            American Association of Pediatrics: www.aap.org
      Remember that you are required to bring your infant seat to the hospital to
      be checked the day you bring your baby home.




    For more Patient Fact Sheets, see the Greenwich Hospital web site at www.greenhosp.org and click on
                                Patients & Visitors, then Patient Education.

Rev. 7/04


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