How to Keep Your Baby Safe in His/Her Car Seat
As a parent, you want to do everything in your power to keep your child safe. Especially considering car accidents are the number one killers among children.
The best way to keep your baby protected from these accidents is to learn about car seat safety.
There are so many different articles and studies regarding babies and car seats that it can get overwhelming.
If you are struggling to learn about car seat safety, here are a few things that you should know:
1. Choose the Right Car Seat
There are a lot of different brands and styles of car seats to choose from.
Before you even purchase one, you should take the time to learn about all of the different ones. Some are made for newborns while others are made for toddlers.
The three main things that you should consider when you are buying a car seat are your baby’s weight, age, and whether the seat meets safety standards.
There should be a manufacture date and label that will let you know if it is safe.
2. Learn How to Install It
Your car seat will come with instructions on how to install it.
There are also numerous videos on the internet that you can watch to learn how to install it.
The best place to install it would be in the back seat, preferably in the middle seat, if it will fit. You will want to make sure it is in the right position and you have secured it properly.
Even if you are very confident in your ability to install a car seat, it never hurts to get it double-checked.
You can stop by your local police station or fire department and they will be glad to help you.
3. Don’t Use It as a Crib
Babies tend to fall asleep better on car rides.
This means they will be likely to fall asleep in their car seats. If you are driving, it is fine to let them sleep.
However, once you have stopped and got to your destination, you should take them out.
It isn’t safe for babies to spend extended periods of time sleeping in their car-seat. Babies who sleep in their car seat are at an increased risk of experiencing SIDs.
This is because their heads are too heavy and they can fall forward, making it difficult for them to breathe.
4. Keep Your Baby Rear-Facing
You should keep your baby refacing until they are two years old.
A lot of parents try to move them out of their seats before they are ready. This can be dangerous if you were to get into an accident.
Your child should reach the maximum age and weight requirements of the current seat before you move them to a bigger one. You may want to check with your doctor depending on how your child is growing.
5. Know Exactly How to Buckle Them Up
When you put your child in their car seat, you should make sure you have them buckled up correctly. There shouldn’t be a single doubt in your mind as to whether your child is safe in his/her car seat.
The chest strap should be flat against their chest and even with their armpits. You want to make sure all the straps are flat against their body and there isn’t any extra slack.
If your baby is wearing a large winter coat, you will want to take that off before you put them in. These coats can prevent a secure fit.
6. Stay Away From Used Seats
Car seats can be expensive, so it may be tempting to buy a used one.
If you do choose to buy a used car seat, make sure that you do your research beforehand. You will want to make sure that the seat isn’t over six years old.
It should also come with the instruction manual and a label that has the manufacturer date and model number. There should be no damage to the car seat and it should have never been in any moderate or severe car crashes.
7. Ensure Your Baby Is Properly Positioned
When installing your car seat, you should make sure it is going to be in the proper position.
You don’t want your baby’s head to fall over or be at an uncomfortable angle.
If you are struggling to get a secure fit, you can put rolled-up washcloths or blankets in the seat to create a more secure fit.
8. Be Conscious of Toys
Giving your baby toys while they are in the car may seem like a good way to keep them calm and quiet.
If you do want to give them toys, make sure they are soft and tucked close to their body.
Hanging their toys above them does allow them to see it better. However, they can become flying projectiles which can cause an accident or hurt your baby.
9. Keep Them Safe Outside of the Car
Car seats are designed to keep your baby safe while riding in the vehicle. They can also be used to make it easier to carry your child from place to place.
If you are taking your child out of the car while they are in their car seat, you need to make sure you are keeping them safe. You will want to place them on a solid surface.
If you are taking them into the grocery store, make sure you put the car seat in the large part of the shopping cart.
Every parent wants to keep their child safe. Whether you are just running to the grocery store or going on a long road trip, it is important to keep your baby safe in their car seat.
Sure, it might add a few extra minutes to your trip at first. But as you practice, it will get easier and become like second nature.