The Avera McKennan Car Seat Program Coordinator wants to remind parents about the importance of booster seats for pre-schoolers up to kids in 3rd grade. Even though the hustle and bustle of the school year has started, experts advise you to not forget to take time to buckle up your little students properly.
When Michelle Pellman picks up her boys Sam 7 and Jack 6 from St. Lambert's School in Sioux Falls the first thing she does is give hugs, kisses and asks how their day went. The first thing the boys do when they get in the car is buckle up in their booster seats.
Mom Michelle says, "I always check to see if they are buckled up, but they are actually pretty good. They'll say. ‘Mom, I'm not buckled, wait! ‘We really worked hard to instill in them that they need to be safe."
Avera McKennan Car Seat Program Coordinator Jeanne Bietz says more people need to put their children in booster seats for their own safety.
Jeanne says, "In the booster, the lap belt sits low down on his upper thigh and across the middle shoulder. When they are too small they slouch on the car seat (so their knees hit the end of the seat) so the lap belt hits them on the soft tissue of the stomach which can create internal injuries (in the event of an accident). The shoulder belt goes across his face and when that happens a lot of kids put it behind them. In the event of an accident they have no upper body restraint hitting them back of the front seats in front of them. Boosters are better for kids up to age 8 and 4'9"."
The best way to get across a message of safety is to set a good example so make sure the first thing you do when you get in the car is to buckle up too.
Michelle says, "They know this is not an option. Your safety is my concern when we travel. You never know what can happen. You may think you are a safe driver, but you have no idea what might happen with everyone else on the road so it's a precautionary measure we take."
We buckle up for safety. Go one step further if you have young kids. Buckle down and buy a booster. God forbid you get in an accident, with this precious cargo on board, you'll be glad you did.
Another tip for drivers is to buckle up the booster seats even when no one is in them so they don't go flying at your head if you get in a crash.
You can always call to make an appointment to see if you are using the right car seat for your child:
Call ahead to these places. Each has different hours of operation:
Avera McKennan 322-3485
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue 367-7063
Sioux Falls Law Enforcement Center 367-7230
AAA South Dakota 336-3690 or 361-2107