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Posts for category: Child Safety

By Pediatric Associates of North Atlanta
November 12, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Keeping Your Child Safe in the CarYou may be surprised to learn that many car seats are not used properly. In fact, around 46 percent of car and booster seats are improperly used, which greatly impacts their efficacy. With car accidents being the leading cause of death in children in the US, parents must know how to keep their children safe while riding in the car. If you have questions about keeping your child safe, your pediatrician is here to answer all of your questions.

Types of Car Seats

Before your child can just start buckling up like a big kid, they need to use car seats. Children from birth until 3 years old will use a rear-facing car seat. From 3-7 years old children will upgrade to the forward-facing car seat. Then the booster seat is typically used anywhere from 5-12 years, depending on their height and manufacturer’s guidelines. Children should be at least five years old, weigh at least 40 pounds and be over the height and weight requirements for their forward-facing car seat to be ready to upgrade to a booster seat.

Choosing the Right Car Seat

When it comes to choosing a car seat, we know that it can be difficult to narrow it down. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides useful information to help you find the right car seat by comparing different ones on the market. You can also talk to your pediatrician, who can provide you with a wellspring of information and advice on choosing the right car seat for your little one.

Installing Your Child’s Car Seat

Before starting, it’s important to read the manufacturer’s installation guide so that you can better understand the car seat and how it should be installed. Along with following the installation guide that comes with the car seat, the NHTSA also provides some helpful safety tips for a successful installation.

Did you know that once you have your car seat in-place that you can have it inspected to make sure that it’s properly installed? This can provide families with the peace of mind that they need to know that their child is safe every time they buckle up.

From booster seats to booster shots, you must be doing everything possible to keep your child healthy and safe. This also means finding quality pediatricians that you trust to provide you with the tips, advice, and care to support your child’s health. 
By Lori Desoutter
April 16, 2020
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Immunizations  

To keep your child healthy and happy this involves making sure that they eat the right foods, exercise regularly and get quality sleep. Of course, visiting your pediatrician for routine checkups and care is also necessary for maintaining optimal health in your child or teen. Along with making sure that your little one is reaching those developmental milestones, our pediatricians can also protect your child from a variety of serious and potentially life threatening illnesses through regular immunizations.

What do immunizations do?

Immunizations or vaccines are used to boost the body’s natural defenses to help it properly fight infection. In order to do this, a vaccine needs to contain either a dead or weakened form of the infection. This is just enough to trigger the immune system to start producing the necessary antibodies to fight the infection without actually causing an infection. Even once the body fights off these germs it will still maintain these defenses to prevent being infected in the future.

Your child won’t build up an immediate immunity once they’ve been vaccinated. It can take up to three weeks for the body to build a complete immune response to the specific germs. Therefore, during this time it is possible that your child could still become infected with any of the viruses for which they haven’t fully been vaccinated. Each vaccine is different and your pediatrician can discuss with you the expected length of time that a vaccine will take to fully work.

Why are immunizations important?

Immunizations are one of the most effective preventive tools we have for protecting children and teens from potentially dangerous or fatal infections and diseases. Since many of these conditions can also cause serious complications including hospitalizations, getting your child vaccinated can prevent the need for extensive and expensive medical treatments.

Certain people, especially those with weakened immune systems, may not be able to get certain vaccinations. This means that they are particularly susceptible to infection. By getting more and more children vaccinated we can also protect other members of our community who can’t be vaccinated so they don’t deal with life-threatening illnesses, themselves.

We know that parents usually have a lot of questions when it comes to getting their child vaccinated and during your child’s next visit we would be happy to discuss these options with you. The CDC also has a handy immunization schedule that every family should follow to make sure that their child is getting the proper immunizations at the right time so they are always fully protected from certain illnesses and diseases.

If you have questions about the immunizations your child is supposed to be getting or if you need to schedule their next checkup call your pediatrician today.

By Lori Desoutter
August 05, 2019
Category: Child Safety
Tags: Car Seats  

Kids may complain about being restrained in the car, but car seats and booster seats save lives. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that using a car or booster seat in a passenger car reduces the risk of fatal injury 71 percent in children younger than 1 and 54 percent in toddlers ages 1 to 4. The statistics are just as impressive for older kids.

What type of seat should I use for my child?

Infants and toddlers should ride in rear-facing seats until they reach the highest weight or height recommended by the manufacturer. In the past, children were routinely removed from rear-facing seats when they were 2, even if they didn't meet height or weight limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed their guidelines and now recommend that kids remain in the seats as long as possible.

Toddlers and pre-schoolers who have reached the maximum height or weight limits for rear-facing seats should use forward-facing car seats. Again, the seats should be used until the child reaches the maximum height and weight recommendations.

Once kids are too tall or heavy for car seats, they will transition to booster seats. Booster seats should be used until children are 4'9" tall and 8 to 12 years old. Older children can begin using seat belts at that point but should sit in the back seat when possible, particularly if they're younger than 13.

How can I tell if the car seat is installed correctly?

Both car and booster seats should be securely fashioned with a latch system or seat belt. If the seat moves back and forth freely, it's not installed correctly. Properly installed seats should move no more than an inch in any direction.

My child's legs seem too long for the car seat. What should I do?

You may wonder if your child should move up to the next seat or a booster seat if your child's feet touch the back of car seat. As long as your child is shorter than the maximum height for the seat, he or she should remain in the current seat.

Should my child use a secondhand car seat?

Passing a seat down to your next child can be a good idea if your children are only a few years apart in age. Before you reuse a seat for a younger child, make sure that it hasn't expired or been recalled since you bought it. Throw away car and booster seats after accidents, even minor ones. The seat may look perfectly fine but may be damaged internally.

Buying secondhand car seats online or at yard sales should be avoided. You won't necessarily know if the seat has been in an accident or if it has defective latches or restraints.

Using car seats consistently, whether you're going to the grocery store or taking a cross-country trip, can help your child avoid serious injuries due to traffic accidents. Talk to your child's pediatrician if you have questions about the seats.