Mamas & Papas Magazine December/January 2016July 11, 2016
Your Baby – September 2009August 3, 2016
Common car seat mistakes that parents make
Putting your child in a baby car seat seems like it should be so easy but is actually very easy to make a mistake that could leave your baby less protected than she should be. Safety seats dramatically reduce the risk of death or serious injury in a collision.
According to safety experts, here’s where most parents go wrong:
- Using an old or secondhand seat. If you have no choice but to use a secondhand seat, make sure it has the original instructions (or contact the manufacturer/distributor for a copy), has all its parts (check the manual), has never been involved in a serious accident, or has been recalled.
- Not reading the manual. Many problems can be avoided by simply reading the instructions. Read the manual that came with the seat and the child restraint section in the vehicle’s ownership manual, if this is not mentioned contact the dealership.
- Child is turned face-forward too early. Babies must ride facing the rear until they are at least 1 year old and weigh 20 pounds — preferably longer. Children have large heads and comparatively weak necks, so in a head-on collision a child’s head can jerk forward suddenly and violently, resulting in spinal injuries.
- Bulky clothing, blankets and sleeping bags. All bulky clothing needs to be removed before putting your child into their car seat.
- Seat is not installed properly. A safety seat can’t do its job if it’s installed wrong. The most common mistake is not buckling the car seat in tightly enough. When jiggled in the area where the safety belt is pulled through, the chair should not move more than 1 inch in any direction.
- Harness straps are too loose. After you buckle your child’s seat tightly in place, see if you can move it more than an inch toward the front or sides of the car.
- Not securing your child in the seat. Buckle your child in, making sure the harness straps aren’t twisted and make use of the retainer clip that holds the two straps together up to armpit level.
- Infant seat angled incorrectly. It must be reclined just enough so the child doesn’t flop forward, but no more than 45 degrees from vertical. If he is positioned at more than that, he could be thrown out between the straps headfirst.
- Harness retainer clip is out of place. It should be at child’s armpit level.
- Not buckling a car seat into the car. Parents can forget to buckle the car seat to the car as the result of confusion about how the seats work or just of switching a seat from one car to another on a hectic morning.
- Safety belt is not in locked mode. Check vehicle’s owner manual to determine what type of belts you have. Then follow directions regarding how they must be used with a child-safety restraint.
- Moving your child out of his car seat or booster too soon. The law states that all children under age 3 years old ride in a baby seat. Thereafter all passengers must be buckled up, including your children, preferable in a booster seat or seat-belt restraint until at least 8-10 years old.
- The backseat is by far the safest place for child and it is recommended that all children under age 13 ride in the backseat every time they get in the car.
- Holding your child on your lap. Never let your child ride in a moving car unless he’s safely strapped into an age-appropriate, correctly installed car seat or booster.
- Two kids sharing one seat belt is very dangerous and can be fatal in an accident.
Mostly, without thinking of the consequences, a lot of parent may take shortcuts to save time, they but they may not save your child’s life.
The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care.
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