10 Essential Car Seat Safety Tips for Children
Babies are at a higher risk of injury in accidents and it can be difficult to know how to protect your child properly. In this article, we are offering you 10 essential tips to ensure that your toddler is safe and protected during a car ride.
#1 The Baby Car Seat Buckle is Snug, Secure and in the Right Spot.
It is advised by Rebecca Emily Drobis, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, to "remove bulky coats and clothing from your child before placing them in the car seat". It’s a pain to get your kid out of a coat before a car ride and then back in after reaching your destination, but you have to do it for your child safety. Wearing bulky & heavy clothing affects how tightly the harness fits on your toddler.
#2 Is Your Car Seat Correctly Installed?
Each car seat is different. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to properly install yours.
#3 The Middle, The Safest!
The safest place to install a car seat is in the middle of the back of your car. This position is the safest because airbags don't reach it and it's the farthest from the sides of the vehicle.
#4 Keep Kids Rear-Facing for as Long as Possible.
A common misconception among parents is that there's a greater risk for leg injuries in the event of a crash in rear-facing car seats, but in reality, kids are actually at a greater risk for leg injuries when they're forward-facing because, in an accident, their feet make contact with the seat in front of them.
Effective November 1, 2019, the newly released New York Law states that all children under the age of 2 must use a rear-facing car seat. There are 3 types of rear-facing car seats: Infant Seats, Convertible Seats, and All-in-One Seats.
#5 Make sure your car seat is appropriate for your child's age and size.
For example, booster seats are designed to protect children who are too big for a car seat but too young for a seat belt alone. Without a booster seat, seat belts don’t fit children properly until they are at least 4’9” tall and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Choose among the 3 types of available car seats: Infant Seats, Convertible Seats, and All-in-One Seats.
#6 Never Use a Baby Car Seat That Has Been Involved in a Car Crash.
Even if there is no visible damage, a car seat involved in a car accident will probably not provide the same level of protection as a new one. If you plan to buy a used one, make sure you buy it from a trusted friend or a family member.
#7 Not All Car Seats Will Fit in Your Car.
Google the model of the car seat you are planning to buy and make sure it is compatible with your car(s).
#8 Choose an Easy-to-Install Car Seat.
Most accidents occur during short trips. Make sure car seats are easy to install - if they are not, it can be tempting not to use them on short trips and may endanger your kid safety.
#9 Avoid untested accessories.
Aftermarket products such as head and neck support or paddings are rarely crash-tested with car seats and may alter the seat’s functions during a crash.
#10 Get Official Accessories.
Some child car seat manufacturers make accessories specifically designed and tested for their car seats.