Happy #Carseatsafetyweek Friends!! To help celebrate CarSeat Safety, I’m offering up my top 5 tips for keeping your little ones safe in the car all year long!
Every single day I come across at least 1 photo on social media of a child strapped into a carseat… the problem is that MOST of the time, I’d say 8 out of 10 times children are harnessed in their seats incorrectly.
To help shed light on this week, I’m sharing on the blog, 5 TIPS for CARSEAT SAFETY! and most importantly 5 tips to help keep your little ones safe during EVERY RIDE.
According to the American SPCC, an estimated 618,000 children under the age of 14 ride in an automobile without a safety restraint system at least some time each year. When properly used, car safety seats can reduce the chance for death by 70% in infants under 1 year and 54% in toddlers aged 1-4 years… but safety doesn’t stop there.
Making sure that children are strapped in safely every time, can mean the difference between life and death for your little ones.
Below are my top 5 tips for ensuring that every car ride is safe!
#1: Rear Facing for as Long as possible…
Something that a lot of parents choose to skip ahead on. However, keeping your child rear facing can prevent serious injury. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “best practice” suggests that children remain rear facing AT LEAST until age 2 or until they reach the maximum height and weight requirements on their rear-facing infant seat.
The important thing to note is that being rear facing has nothing to do with leg room and everything to do with muscular and skeletal development. After two years of age, children.s neck are JUST beginning to become strong enough to withstand the intense amount of force experiences in a car crash. A while the strength is building, it’s not a risk worth taking. In a worst case scenario, I’d rather a broken leg over a snapped neck.
To read more about the importance of rear-facing carseats click here.
#2: No coats in car seats
As cooler months approach this becomes more and more important. COATS ARE NOT FOR CARSEATS! Why? Because in order for carseats to restrain properly, straps my lay flat and snug to the body. Puffy coats and wrinkled fabrics can often time prevent this.
To keep your children warm during colder months I recommend: warming the car before strapping them in, packing coats separately, and grabbing a blanket to cover them on the way from home to the car. Or simply, removing the coat before strapping them in!
Click this link for info on why coats and carseats don’t mix!
#3: Be sure to follow manufacturers guidelines for carseat installation and use
This may sound like a no brainer, but so does carseat installation right? A few clicks and buckles and you’re done right? Wrong.
State Laws are even cracking down on making sure that carseats are properly installed and also that children are in appropriate seats for their age ranges! BEFORE installing your child’s carseat, please be sure to read the instructions for each and every setting. The booklet that comes with your Carseat will have step by step guidelines to meet your child’s age height and weight. To keep your child safest, do not deviate.
And a bonus tip: Stay Clear of used seats. they often do not include Instruction Manuals and there is no proof of whether or not the seat has been involved in a crash ( this automatically expires the seat) Though outlets like facebook marketplace and second hand stores can sell carseats for hundreds of dollars cheaper, a New seat is always a safer bet.
Sales like Target’s Gear Trade-In are great options to snag new seats for less.
#4: Complete Safety Checks with EVERY ride.
Now that Ava is 5, she’s learned how to clip herself into her carseat. While I love that she’s learning the importance of car safety, there are still a few important checks to make. Before every car ride, ensure that:
- Chest clips are at armpit or nipple level
- there is no space or gaps between straps and clothing/skin; straps should fit tightly
- straps are even and are free of twists or knots
- seat moves no less than one inch when secured in the car
- all harness points are secure.
#5: Share safety guidelines with family and friends
Regardless of who your little ones travel with, be sure that all parties understand the importance of keeping them safe. When riding with family members or friends, make sure that appropriate seats are correctly secured and adjusted. No excuses. No exceptions. If your children ride regularly with grandparents or babysitters, consider purchasing a separate seat to keep in their car.
For more information on carseat safety visit https://csftl.org
To checkout my last blog post click here!