When you bring a new child into your home, their safety and health are your new top priorities. You’re responsible for keeping them alive and well.
Part of that responsibility includes making sure that you’re using an appropriate car seat. Good car seat safety will keep your child safer in the event of a car accident.
We’re here to talk all about child car seat safety so you can keep your child safe. Read on to learn more.
Rear-Facing Is Best
When you’re the only adult in the car, it’s normal for you to want to be able to see your child when you’re driving. You want to be able to reach back and comfort them or at least make eye contact if they start fussing.
while this is a reasonable desire, you can’t act on it. You need to keep your child’s car seat rear-facing for as long as possible.
Rear-facing car seat safety is far better than front-facing car seat safety for small children and toddlers. You should keep a child in a rear-facing car seat until they’re at least two years old, but if they can tolerate it for longer, that’s better for you and them.
Children are 75% less likely to sustain serious injuries after car accidents (fatal or otherwise) when they’re in rear-facing car seats. This is such a huge difference that it’s irresponsible to turn their seats front-facing too early.
Puffy Coats Can Be Dangerous
On a cold and blustery day, you want to keep your child warm, right? Maybe you’ve seen other parents with children who aren’t wearing coats in stores and started to judge them.
These parents are likely doing the right thing.
When a child wears a thick and puffy coat in a car seat, they’re in danger. The harness isn’t as secure because it’s being padded by the puffy jacket.
When children aren’t wearing coats in stores, it’s more than likely that the parent didn’t have time to put the coat back on the child after they got out of the car seat. They were keeping their child safe.
If your child gets upset when they’re cold, you may put a blanket over their lap while they’re in the car seat. Otherwise, leave them alone.
Cost Isn’t a Factor
Many people think that expensive car seats are always good car seats. This isn’t true.
While expensive car seats may make lofty claims about safety, all car seats have to be approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They must all follow the same standards.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t shady and unreliable “affordable” car seat brands. You should stick to well-known brands, but those brands don’t have to be the most expensive ones.
The best car seat is going to be the one that fits your child and your vehicle.
If you’re running low on funds, you may be able to do a car seat exchange (depending on where you live). They offer discounted car seats when your child grows out of theirs. Click to learn more about this and other car safety seat laws.
Accessories Can Cause Damage
Do you have cute accessories like plush toys or mirrors on the car seat? You may be putting your child in unnecessary danger.
If the car seat doesn’t come with the accessory or require the accessory to perform its job, it’s best to not use that accessory. The accessory is an extra projectile that could harm your child in the event of a crash or even a sudden stop.
Your Child Needs One Longer Than You Think
You may think that your child no longer needs a car seat when they look “old enough” to sit on their own, but this isn’t true. Children need car seats and booster seats until they’re 4’9″ (which means even some teens and adults can benefit from booster seats).
Children who are able to voice their opinions about car seats and booster seats might press up against this. They don’t want to feel “like babies” and that’s normal.
That said, you can’t give in. Your child’s safety is more important than their complaints.
It’s Easy to Forget About Them
It might seem impossible to forget about your child, but this happens often. Many parents go through mornings on “autopilot,” especially when they’re new and overtired.
One downside of rear-facing car seats is that you can’t see the child and it’s harder to remember that they’re there unless they’re making noise. This could cause parents to forget to drop the child off at daycare or take the child out of the car when they go shopping.
There are tricks that you can use to help prevent this problem. Some parents intentionally leave their keys or work supplies in the back seat so that they can not leave the car without seeing their children.
Professionals Can Help with Installation
Are you a new parent who’s clueless about car seat installation? Don’t worry. There are plenty of resources for new parents.
In a pinch, you can visit your local fire department for your car seat installation. While this isn’t your best option, it’s great for parents on a budget who don’t have time to call in a professional.
You could also call in a professional car seat technician who can perform a car seat safety check.
Car Seat Safety Is No Joke
Your child is vulnerable in your car. Even a small accident can harm them. Good car seat safety will keep them safer and more secure.
Remember these helpful car seat safety facts when you’re buying your new car seat and strapping your child in. Their life depends on it.
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Read More: What Is Considered Reckless Driving?