If you’re looking for car seat – top car safety tips, then this article is for you since there are numerous reminders and tricks to keep your child safe.
One of the things you should invest in is a good and reliable car seat – top car safety tips would ensure that not only did you install it correctly but also give you the peace of mind while on the road.
It’s a must-have for every parent especially mums on-the-go or those who like going on land travels or just let their tots tag along for quick errands to the mall or grocery store.
You see, unlike other baby gears, this is probably among the most useful. You can never do away with it and for a good reason – because it keeps your child safe in your vehicle and giggling away in their forward facing car seats.
- Be wary of second-hand car seats.
I understand the appeal of buying used items because they’re cheaper than new ones. For some families, hand-me-downs are pretty standard too, and that’s okay except for items like strollers and car seats.
Why? Unless you know the history of the model, it can be dangerous. For one, there’s the obvious reason that some parts are missing or there’s already wear-and-tear in the fabric or belt.
Two, the manufacturer could have recalled it, and that means it’s no longer safe for use. Three, there’s an expiration date for gears like this. For example, you shouldn’t use a car seat that’s more than six years old. (source)
- Double check if you did the installation correctly.
Depending on the model you bought and your vehicle type, there are several ways to install a car seat.
Whether it’s a LATCH system or not, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions because more often than not, it can vary.
For convertible car seats, you only have to install it once, and it’s imperative that you do it the right way.
If you have any doubts or just want to make sure, you can ask for help from a trained technician especially since it’s challenging for any parent (it’s hard to do it alone, actually).
- Pick the right product that suits your needs.
HiFiveBaby has a top five list of the best convertible car seats for those with small cars.
It is good news because you don’t have to buy a new vehicle just to accommodate a big and bulky car seat. But even if these products fit nicely in smaller cars, it doesn’t mean that it compromises comfort and safety of the baby.
On the contrary, these are often narrower than other models, and it won’t take up a lot of space in the backseat (which is essentially the safest spot to install it).
- Keep the child in a rear-facing position until around two or three years old or until he/she has outgrown the maximum height and weight limit – check the labels for this because manufacturer’s manuals vary.
Some parents think it’s okay to let them sit forward-facing after their first birthday, but that should not be the case because their head, neck and spine should receive maximum protection in the event of accidents.
No matter what the current position is though, you should always use the harness straps and ensure they fit snugly – neither too tight nor too loose. (source)
- Check the car seat on a regular basis.
It should not move more than one inch from the point of attachment – if it does, you may need to install it again.
Also, run your fingers along the edges or inside the seat to check for any sharpness or if some parts broke off.
Don’t forget to clean it as often as you can because sometimes, you might have forgotten your child snacking inside the vehicle.
It’s important because you know what can happen when there are crumbs stuck in the nooks or even just the fabric. Besides, it won’t take up too much of your time to check everything.
- The best and safest spot is at the centre of the back seat.
Maybe you already know this but in the event of an accident (as parents, we should always prepare for the worst), the child won’t receive a direct hit to the head when they’re in a rear-facing position.
Even when facing forward, there’s less impact, and in turn, it minimises the injury. Keep in mind that infants are vulnerable so their safety should always be a priority.
Although if by any circumstance, the centre spot won’t do, you can opt for the left or right area but again, it’s not as safe as the middle of the back seat. (source)
Even experienced parents still need reminders when it comes to car safety. Road trips are fun even if you’re just running quick errands.
But as I mentioned earlier, it’s best to stay prepared at all times even more so if it comes to vehicular accidents because the hard fact is, you’ll never know what could happen.
A car seat is a must-have for every parent and putting metaphors aside; this is an actual life saver as long as you follow all the steps in the installation and also the tips I wrote here.
Have you installed yours already? Tell me how it went.