Last updated on January 24th, 2023 at 09:05 am
The foremost consideration of parenting is the safety of the children. It is the highest form of love and cares for them. Whatever age group they belong to, safety should not be compromised by any circumstances. Therefore, you must be well-acquainted with the baby car seat basics to protect them while on the road trip.
As a parent, you may talk to a child passenger safety expert or certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS). This is highly recommended, especially if you are an expectant mother.
Better yet, here is a list of car seat basics you can keep as your reference guide. It is worthwhile running an online car check on your car to ensure it is currently safe, legal and roadworthy.
In some countries, it is always mandatory for each vehicle to have a car seat. For example, UK law states:
- Children must use a car seat from birth up to age 12 or with a height of 135 cm, whichever comes first.
- Children beyond the age of 12 or 135 cm in height can just use the seat belt without the car seat.
These mandates that every car driver must comply with the legal requirements to ensure the safety and protection of all passengers, including your children and you as a parent.
The Common Mistakes To Avoid
Knowing that car crashes are one of the concerning issues of mortality worldwide. Many young ones are killed or injured in car accidents. Such is an alarming case! So, you must seek assistance to ensure your kids’ safety.
Here are some of the common mistakes when it comes to car seat safety.
- Installing the seat incorrectly might cause the car seat to wiggle, which is risky for the child. It should be at most 1-inch movement wherever it goes during travel.
- Avoid adding non-regulated products that are not tested for a crash, like mirrors, toys, and liners for the car seat.
- The harness straps are not tightly fixed. It ejects during accidents.
- Placing your child in a forward-facing position—the centre seat of the back seat is the safest place to install a forward-facing car seat.
Sometimes, basics are often regarded as being less important. However, it is actually the foundation of everything that follows next to it. So, if safety matters to you, let’s go through it piece by piece.
To ensure that you are using the car seat for its purpose, take note of the following:
- Rear-facing- all infants and toddlers
- Forward–facing with harness- for toddlers and preschoolers; those who have outgrown rear-facing seats.
- Belt-positioning booster- for school-aged children; kids whose weight or height has exceeded the forward-facing limit—until they reach 4 feet and 9 inches and between 8 to 12 years of age.
The Safety Rules
“Car seat” is another name for a safety seat. As car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injuries in children, ensuring their safety is the topmost priority you can do to save their lives.
- Your child must be in the backseat to keep them away from active airbags.
- Everyone inside the car must be properly secured and buckled up tightly.
- Car seats and their accessories must be crash-tested and installed correctly.
- Kids must only use car seats according to age, weight, and height.
- Do not leave them in the car seats unattended.
- It is in line with standards and preventive measures.
- Check with the nearest seat inspection section once the installation is done. Or, ask for assistance from any local departments, health, public safety groups, etc.
- Never use a second-hand car seat. Double-check for cracks, signs of wear and tear, missing parts, expiration date, model number, etc.
- Newborns should ride semi-reclined positions for their safety and comfort.
- Do not use a model with a car seat tray for newborns. It can adversely injure your baby in time of an accident. In some cases, there are cars with integrated car seats. Be sure to check and read the provided manual.
Know The Types
Below are the two kinds of car seats for newborns and infants.
- Infant-only car seat– newborn with a weight of 20 to 22 pounds. Must install it in a rear-facing position to protect the baby’s head, neck, and torso.
Note: The rear-facing car seat is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for infants and toddlers based on the child’s size, not age.
- Convertible car seat– can be placed in different positions but largely depends on the child’s age and size. You must also look for signs of readiness as it is also called a 3-in-1 car seat because of its positioning capability: rear-facing, forward-facing, and then to booster without the need for a harness.
For safety and comfort, your child must be secured primarily against car accidents. It will be a huge challenge, but it is for peace of your mind. Follow the car seat basics and keep yourself updated on any most recent reports or recommendations from authorities and experts on car safety seats.