Are You Protecting Your Children?

The growing awareness of safe driving and state safety laws have alerted the general public and parents to the importance of using car seats for their small children whenever and wherever they are driving. Most states require the use of car seats for children under the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds. However, these safety rules aimed at protecting children may cause serious neck and spinal injuries and can even be deadly if the child car seats are used incorrectly.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), its Council on Occupational Health and ACA member Dr. Michael Freeman, trauma epidemiologist and clinical assistant professor of public health and preventive medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, have developed the following general guidelines and safety tips to ensure proper car seat safety.

  • Make sure the child safety seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. A newborn infant requires a different seat than a 3-year-old toddler.
  • Car seats for infants should always be rear facing as the forces and impact of a crash will be spread more evenly along the back and shoulders, providing more protection for the neck.
  • Car seats should always be placed in the back seat of the car-ideally in the center. This is especially important in cars equipped with air bags. If an air bag becomes deployed, the force could seriously injure or kill a child or infant placed in the front seat.
  • Make sure the car seat is properly secured to the seat of the vehicle and is placed at a 45-degree angle to support the head of the infant or child.
  • The lap harness should be fastened low, as close to the hips as possible; the harness should never be fastened around the waist.
  • Make certain the shoulder harness is fastened securely and the straps lay flat against the body. Twisted straps can cause additional injury that might prevent the seat from working properly.
  • Use a retention clip (if provided by the manufacturer) when securing a child safety seat with the shoulder harness. The retention or shoulder harness clip is an added safety feature and must be fastened close to the armpit of the infant or child.
  • Borrowing or purchasing a used car seat can be dangerous; there is the possibility of unknown or undetected damage. Car seats that have been in a serious accident should never be used again.
  • Be sure the seat meets federal motor vehicle safety seat standards. Consult the owner's manual or contact the manufacturer for that information. All car seats should have an owner's manual and instruction booklet.
  • Be sure the clip between the legs of the child is fastened snugly.

While car accidents can be dangerous for all passengers, small children are especially at risk, according to Dr. Scott Bautch, past president of ACA's Council on Occupational Health. "The weight of the head of a child makes the cervical spine much more vulnerable to injury," Dr. Bautch explained. "The infant has little control in the muscles of the neck, and the head can bounce from side to side and fall forward, which can cause serious spine and neck injuries. Children have more flexible upper bodies and shoulders. Make sure the harness comes up, way up, over the shoulders."

Underscoring the importance of proper car seat use, a recent article in Nation's Health reported the findings of a study conducted in Kentucky by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found a 37 percent drop in infant fatalities since the 1982 enactment of the state law mandating the use of child car seats. "To continue this decline, prevention efforts now must focus on the proper use of the seats to maximize their life-saving potential," the researchers said.

The key when traveling with small children is to be aware of and follow these rules and tips to ensure proper car seat safety. And remember everyone: Buckle up!

If you or one of your children have been involved in a serious automobile accident and have experienced neck and back discomfort, you should consider a visit to a chiropractor.

Office Hours

Monday:

8:00 am-4:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-4:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-4:00 pm

Thursday:

Closed

Friday:

8:00 am-2:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "Regular visits with Dr. Roeder have significantly reduced the frequency of migraines I have suffered and the amount of neck and shoulder pain I have lived with for years. Because of Dr. Roeder I am able to focus on my busy life again"
    S.L., San Diego
  • "This was my first encounter with a chiropractor and found the experience to be delightful, gratifying and well worth it! Instead of being given a bunch of pills and told to come back next week, the manipulation for my back and side injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, responded very well to the treatments. Thank you, Dr. Roeder for a job well done"
    W.B., San Diego
  • "I came in originally for neck pain, but getting adjusted helped lower my blood pressure & my insulin levels too.Dr. Roeder is so thorough in her care-I never knew how much better I could feel.I no longer have to take blood pressure medicine now."
    A.W., San Diego
  • "Since meeting Dr. Roeder at a health seminar, she has changed my life, drastically-improving my health 100%. I had a wide range of symptoms, including chronic fatigue, constant and severe headaches, body aches, nausea, difficulty concentrating and I felt extremely tired and weak. She diagnosed me with having Fibromyalgia and Candida. She put me on an anti-inflammatory diet and started me on chiropractic treatment and instructed me on strength exercises. I have lost 40 lbs and feel fantastic! Whenever I eat something that sets off a symptom, I can identify the food source now. I know how to eat well and stay away from foods that cause inflammation. Had it not been for Dr. Roeder's expert care, I believe I would still be suffering from all those symptoms-- instead I feel fantastic!"
    M.O., Spring Valley
  • "My son was diagnosed at a very young age with Hyperkyphosis. The doctor told us that surgery would be his only option but we needed to wait until he got older.My husband and I were heartbroken to think about such a major surgery for our little boy.We wanted to help him anyway we could without doing surgery. We are so thrilled to say that after seeing Dr. Roeder my son's back has made a major improvement.That there is a stronger chance that he may not need surgery after all.My son is three now and he is a very active little boy and you can't even tell that he had ever had a bad back.He is able to do what all little boys do:run, jump and climb!Taking my son to Dr. Roeder was the best decision that me and my husband have made as parents.I am so happy that Dr. Roeder is part of our lives.In fact all of my extended family members are patients of her too!Thank you so much Dr. Roeder for all of your help.You have been such a positive part of our lives.You are part of our family."
    G.C., San Diego
  • "My daughter has been diagnosed with Von Willabrand's and Precocious Puberty at age 7. She had her first period at age 8, and it was for three days. The doctors said that her hormone levels were off and there wasn't any truly safe treatment. After talking to Dr. Roeder, she started chiropractic care to help her body cope better with this disorder and hopefully change her hormones. Now my daughter and I have been told by doctors at Children's Hospital that it looks like she won't be starting her period until two years from now-this will be the normal time when she should start! They told us to keep up the good work of whatever we have been doing because it seems to be working."
    J.H., San Diego
  • "I got treated for a neck and back injury that appeared to be chronic following a major car accident. I had been to chiropractors before but without much success.After seeing Dr. Roeder now though, my mobility and general feeling of well-being has greatly improved."
    C.H., San Diego
  • "Dr. Roeder was recommended by a friend and I am completely satisfied. I was having low back pain also some neck pain. My back feels better than it has in years. I feel Dr. Roeder is complete in recommending exercising and treatment!"
    M.L., San Diego
  • "I just wanted to say thank you for making me 'new' again. Also, for helping us through our tough times. You always have been nice to us and helpful when we were in your office-it was just like a second home! Every time I walked through the door I felt calm and relaxed. You always asked us how we were doing and how we have been. I thought that was very thoughtful and caring of you-especially considering that awful car accident we had been in. None of my doctors before had been as courteous as you. You have really made a bad experience into a great experience in a blink of an eye. I always loved that EVERYONE was always smiling! I wish that when I grow up I can be like you, always making people happy and feel better! Well, I think that you just made another patient happy because of your wonderful 'magic.' Oh and I know I already said this but I think I am speaking for everyone when I say: Thank you Dr. Roeder!"
    J.F., San Diego (pediatric patient)