In the last few decades, there has been a significant decrease in the number of child fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes. However, car crashes still lead to about one in every four unintentional child deaths. Properly using safety restraints and car seats is the best way to protect your children from this harm. Here are three car seat safety tips to help protect your little loved one.
1. Use the right car seat
The kind of car seat you pick for your little loved one should vary with their age, height, and weight. Here is a guide to help you determine your baby’s right car seat.
● Infant-only car seats: If you have a newborn or a small infant, the best car seat is the rear-facing infant-only car seat. Babies can use the infant-only seats from birth to the time they get to about 35 pounds.
● Convertible car seat: This is suitable for infants and young children. A convertible car seat is best used from birth till the time your baby gets to be about 65 pounds in weight. Depending on your baby’s weight and height, you can use it forward-facing or rear-facing.
● Forward-facing-only car seat: This seat is suitable for children who have outgrown the height or weight limit of the rear-facing car seat. Most car seat manufacturers set weight or height limits. Therefore, make sure to confirm these limits during purchase. Many forward-facing only car seats can accommodate children of up to 80 pounds.
● Booster seats: Kids move into this forward-facing seat when they outgrow a car seat’s weight and height limit. Generally, boosters are for children between 8 and 12 years or those with a height of about 4 feet 9 inches. These booster seats come in a variety. In the market, you can find a high-back booster with 5 point harness, foldable booster car seats, or a narrow backless booster.
2. Prioritize proper car seat installation
Proper car seat installation is incredibly vital. It reduces the risk of your children suffering from injury in a car accident. One crucial thing to note is that different car seats have varying installation instructions.
Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. You will need to use either the lower anchors or the seat belt to secure the car seat. Make sure not to use the lower anchors and the seat belt at the same time. In addition, when your baby is forward facing, use the ropes with the lower anchors or seat belts.
3. Ensure all car seats are in the back seats
The safest place to put a car seat is the middle back seat. You can also place the seat in the back window seat if necessary. Make sure that any children below 13 are not in the front seat. The front seats have airbags, which can seriously injure or kill your children when opened. If you install the car seat in the front, push the seat far back and turn off the airbag.
Even though car seats play a crucial role in reducing the risk of injury or death, you need to know how to use them safely. When your child outgrows the weight or height limit of the car seat, make sure to change the seat. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guide for proper car seat installation.