Car seat safety is very important. In fact, car crashes are the number one reason why young children are injured or even killed. Keeping your baby safe is easy with these few simple steps.
Best Place to Install a Car Seat
Babies should face the rear of the car because their bodies aren’t strong enough to support themselves if they are facing forward if you were involved in a collision. The safest place in a car is in the in the middle of the back seat. Being in the middle, will prevent them from being impacted if you were involved in a collision on the side. Infants should rear face until they are at least 2 years old according the American Pediatric Association or hit the height and weight restrictions that are located on the car seat.
Ensure that the Car Seat is Level and Installed Properly
Follow the manufactures installation directions when you are installing the car seat. The car seat needs to be level to help support your baby’s head and neck properly, especially if they are unable to hold their head up on their own. If you have having trouble getting the car seat level, try rolling up a towel or using a pool noodle. If you are using a pool noodle, you can cut it to fit the car seat.
The car seat needs to be installed properly to protect your child in the event that you are involved in a car crash. When installing the car seat, you may have to have someone sit in the seat in order to put some weight on it, so that you can make sure that it is installed securely. The car seat shouldn’t move side to side when you try to move it. If you are unsure, if the car seat is installed properly you can take it to the hospital, local fire department, or local police department. They are usually willing to help ensure that your car seat is installed properly.
Make Sure That You Are Correctly Using the Straps in Your Child’s Car Seat
The car seat straps are designed to protect your child in the event of a car crash; however, they can’t do their job properly if they aren’t used correctly. To properly buckle your child into their car seat, the straps should fit your child snugly and the buckle needs to go over the breast bone. See the photos below:
The straps also need to fit your child snugly. To check the car seat straps slide two fingers between your child and the straps. You should only be able to place two fingers between your child and the straps, adjust the straps as necessary.
Avoid Bulky Clothing and Jackets
During the winter months, you should avoid dressing your child in bulky snowsuits and coats when riding in the car. Instead, use a light jacket and cover your child with a blanket. Bulky clothing don’t allow the straps to fit your child snugly and could result in your child being injured.
Keep Your Car Clean with a Car Seat Protector