What to Know About Car Seat Safety: A car seat provides your child with safety while driving. However, according to research, a huge percentage of new parents make errors in respect to installing car seats. The most common mistakes include installing it too lightly or at the wrong angle. Here is what you need to know about car seat safety.
Always buy a new car seat
It is acceptable to buy baby clothes at a garage sale or flea market, but do not buy a car seat there. This is because a second hand car seat may have missing parts and you may not be able to tell if it has been in an accident. Safety experts advise that unless you are aware of a car seat’s complete history, you should never get it. Instead, invest in a new one that guarantees your child’s safety.
Get expert help
As above aforementioned, almost all parents install their car seats wrongly. Of course, you will read through the car seat’s manual comprehensively and try your best to install it correctly, but for absolute peace of mind, find a car seat expert to do the installation for you. Certified child passenger safety technicians are available in numerous locations to answer questions from parents and to help them fit car seats correctly.
The car seat should always face the rear
Your child should face the back of the car for as long as possible or at least until they attain the age of two. This is because when a child faces forward in a front-end crash, they are likely to get a neck or head injury.
Children’s heads make up the largest percentage of their body weight and their neck muscles are not as strong as those of adults. If your child gets involved in an accident while facing the back, the bulk of their body absorbs the impact and they are less likely to be hurt.
Know your child’s size
All car seats are designed and crash tested to meet government criteria based on the height and weight of the child who will use it. A car seat that is too big or too small will not safeguard your child properly and could result in injury if your car is in an accident.
As such, it is imperative that you know your child’s measurements. Before you shop, ensure that you learn about available car seat options. Some of them include three in one, convertible and rear facing only car seats.
Do not use pillows or props
Refrain from using rolled up blankets or anything else that may affect the angle of the car seat’s position. Most car seats have an in-built way to adjust the angle so that a child under the age of two sits in a rear-facing, semi-reclined position.
A rear-facing baby’s shoulders, head and hips require proper support from the back of the car seat to allow the child to breathe correctly. If the seat sits too upright, the baby’s head could fall forward blocking their airway. Always read instructions to learn how to adjust your car seat in the correct position.