Car seats are an absolutely essential tool for traveling with your baby. The reason these things exist is pretty simple; seat belts made for adults are too big for children so they are not effective in the event of a car crash. Follow this guide to make sure you aren’t making any mistakes with car seat safety.
Picking the wrong size
The entire concept of the car seat is to fit a smaller body so if you get the incorrect size for your child’s weight and height, it is not safe anyway. Do some research and check the manuals so you know what size is best for your baby.
Also, keep track of your child’s growth. You may be tempted to wait a little while in between upgrading baby seats to save money but it’s not worth the risk. You’d pay anything for the safety of your child, wouldn’t you?
Buying Second Hand
On that note, second hand baby seats can be dangerous because you don’t know if it has been in an accident before or if any of the parts are broken. Plus, car seats actually have expiration dates so don’t even re-use your own if they are more than six years old. When you want to save money, cut back on something other than the safety of your child. Nobody expects to be in a car accident but they happen all the time so never take the chance when it comes to life and death.
Not installing the seat properly
Baby seats are fiddly things that are a hassle to plug in but you have to be patient and do it properly every time. Run through a small checklist when you do it:
- Route the seatbelts correctly
- Put seat belts in lock mode
- Use both lower anchors of the latch and the seatbelt
- Connect lower anchors and tethers to the correct latches
- Remember the tether
- Put enough weight down on the seat as you install it
Plug the baby in properly
Incorrect harness adjustment is just as dangerous as having the wrong sized seat so here’s another checklist to make sure it’s adjusted correctly every time you plug your baby in:
- The harness should be tight enough that you can fit one finger between the strap and your child’s collar bone. Not too tight, not too loose.
- Make sure the chest clips under the armpits are even.
- Remove jackets or bulky clothes when the child is in the seat.
Useful resource: Keeping tab on your baby at all times is a good idea, especially when you have to step out of the car for gas. A decent baby monitor will greatly enhance your baby safety: 5 Best Baby Monitor
Follow these steps every time you put your child into a car seat so if you are ever unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident, your child will have the best protection possible for his/her size. Read some reviews on a few different products before you buy anything so you know which seat is best for you. Remember that expensive doesn’t always mean better so trust the reviews first. Lastly, always keep track of your baby’s growth and adjust accordingly. There is no such thing as too careful when it comes to children and road safety.
Photo: flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/2454040282Filed under Parenting Advice | Comment (0)