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'Enjoy The Ride Safely'

Nissan and 'What to Expect' Authors Provide Advice on How to Safely Transport Your Child



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LOS ANGELES, June 24, 1997-- Vehicle collisions are the number one cause of injury and death to kids in our country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), current figures show that in 1995, 286,000 children under the age of 15 were injured in car crashes and 1,804 of them died. A significant number of these deaths and injuries could have been prevented.

Many people don't realize that they put their children in great danger if they fail to properly secure them in appropriate child restraints. Studies show that about 500 lives per year could be saved and 56,000 injuries could be prevented with the proper use of child restraints, however, NHTSA estimates 80 percent of child restraints are misused.

As part of an ongoing effort to educate consumers on automotive safety, Nissan Motor Corporation USA has asked the authors of the bestselling books, "What To Expect The First Year" and "What To Expect The Toddler Years" (Workman Publishing), to assist them in offering guidance for parents on how to transport infants and children safely in the car. A comprehensive 20- minute public service video featuring the latest in child restraint safety is available free to consumers while supplies last in either English or Spanish language and can be obtained by calling 1-800-955-4500.

With numerous belt systems and child restraints on the market, information about using them properly continues to be important. The "Enjoy The Ride Safely: Child Restraint Guidelines" video was produced by Nissan to show how to properly use child restraints. The video demonstrates the different types of restraints; explains how to choose the proper restraint for your child; and illustrates how to place and install it safely. In addition, it provides useful safety guidelines for adult drivers and passengers.

"State laws only represent minimum guidelines for child safety," said Jerry Florence, vice president, communications and strategic development, Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. "We recommend that parents take safety precautions a step further by following the important guidelines provided in this video. After all, the cargo being carried is much too valuable to put at risk."

Sharing this goal of enhancing child safety are the co-authors of "What To Expect The First Year" and "What To Expect The Toddler Years," Heidi Murkoff and Arlene Eisenberg. They write: "It is not disease that parents should fear most, but auto crashes -- which kill and maim more children yearly than all of the major childhood illnesses combined." Heidi Murkoff, who offers an introduction to the safety video, is taking part in the national and local public service campaign in an effort to extend the reach of Nissan's car safety messages.

Nissan and the authors advise parents to take the following key measures when using child restraints in order to safely transport children in the car.

General Safety Rules

  • Always buckle up. Whether you're driving across the country or around the block, everyone who rides in your car should be securely buckled up.

  • Pregnant woman should push the seat as far back as comfortably possible and tilt the steering wheel up. They should always wear lap shoulder belts with the lap belt placed as low as possible on the hips, not around the waist.

  • If possible, never put your child in the front seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that children age 12 and under should always be properly restrained in the back seat. This is especially important if the vehicle has a front passenger air bag. In a crash, children can be injured or killed by an inflating air bag.

  • It is never safe to ride with the infant or child in your lap. Children are not properly protected unless securely placed in an appropriate-sized child restraint.

Child Restraint Types

The type of restraint used must be appropriate for the specific child, depending on age and size. There are three main types of child restraints:

  1. Rear-Facing Seat -- for infants typically up to 1 year old, and up to about 20 pounds;

  2. Front-Facing Seat -- for toddlers ranging from 20-60 pounds;

  3. Booster Seat -- for larger children, who are too small to use the vehicle's seat belts alone.

In addition, a variety of convertible restraints, which change from rear- facing to front-facing to booster seats, are available on the market.

Many state laws only require children be restrained in child restraints until they are 4 years old or 40 pounds. The responsibility as a parent shouldn't end there. Nissan recommends that children should be kept in approved child restraints as long as a child can still fit comfortably into the restraint, regardless of their age.

The Right Choice

Choosing the right type of restraint for your child is crucial. Not only should the choice depend on the age and size of the child, but the child restraint also needs to be compatible with your car and its seat belts.

Be sure to read the labels and literature accompanying the child restraint. Experts recommend the use of child restraints that conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. As an additional precaution, parents are advised to choose child restraints that meet guidelines of SAE Practice J1819.

Installing The Child Restraint

When installing the child restraint, parents need to closely follow the instructions provided, as well as the information contained in the vehicle's owner manual. The different procedures are demonstrated and explained in detail in the video. At all times, parents need to ensure that the restraint is securely fastened with the vehicle seat belt.

"What To Expect The First Year" and "What To Expect The Toddler Years" provide the answers to all the questions parents usually ask during their first years of parenthood, including feeding, development, infant illnesses and child safety.

In North America, Nissan's operations include styling, engineering, manufacturing, sales, consumer and corporate finance, and industrial and textile equipment. Nissan in North America employs more than 20,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico and generates more than 70,000 jobs through its 1,500 Nissan and Infiniti dealerships across the continent. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at http://www.nissan-na.com.

CONTACT: Lynn Folse Attig, 310-771-3165, or Debra Sanchez Fair, 310-771-5958, both of Nissan Corporate Communications; or Jane Haeberlin of Porter Novelli, 310-444-7046; or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 800-424-9393; or visit the Nissan Online News Bureau at http://www.nissannews.com

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