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Car seat safety is an important topic for parents. Unfortunately, many parents and care providers don’t use car seats the right way. That’s why today, Theresa’s Reviews features 5 car seat safety tips.
5 Car Seat Safety Tips
In my seven years as a parent, I’ve had several moments of not knowing whether I was using car seats the right way. One reason was that I didn’t communicate with other parents often enough. When we did catch up, we didn’t usually talk about car seats. Getting up-do-date information can be difficult, and the information is not always very clear. I hope you find these car seat safety tips helpful, and feel free to share your tips in the comments below the article too.
1. Don’t wear coats with a car seat.
In winter, cars can get chilly in the morning. Make sure that your children don’t wear thick coats under their car seat straps. If you did get in an accident, the fabric would become much less puffy, leaving space for your child to slip through the straps.
Instead, dress your child in a light sweater, and keep a blanket in the car. Your child can pull her jacket over her legs to stay warm, and pull the blanket on top. That’s what we do every morning!
2. Keep your child in a car seat or booster as long as you can.
When your child reaches the minimum age to move to a larger car seat or up to a booster, you don’t have to move up right away. Wait until you reach the maximum age or size. The 5-point harness seats are designed with safety in mind and do an excellent job of keeping your child in place.
When your child is ready to move up to a booster seat, check that you install it the correct way. Also, make sure that all care providers for your child are still using the booster seat.
Some parents skip booster seats and go right to the adult seat belt. This is not safe. Most children are not ready to use an adult seat belt alone until they are 10 or 11 years old. Children need to not only be the correct size and weight, but they also need to be able to sit correctly and keep the seat belt in place.
3. Read the manual.
Car seats can be confusing, and not all cars work the same way. Some car seats don’t fit comfortably in certain cars, and some cars don’t have a convenient latch system.
Not only should you read your car seat or booster manual thoroughly, but also read your vehicle manual. If you head to Cars.com, you can also read more about the latch system and their 2017 Car Seat Check Honor Roll.
4. Never turn around to check on your child.
Whether you’re taking a road trip or taking your child to school in the morning, it can be tempting to turn around and see that everything’s okay. Make sure that when you’re driving, your children aren’t a distraction.
On long road trips, pack snacks, toys, and small drink pouches to keep children happy. This can prevent a tantrum.
If you are driving for a more urgent reason, such as a doctor visit, bring someone in the passenger’s seat to keep an eye on your child. This will help prevent you from turning around to see if they’re not feeling well.
5. Rear face as long as possible.
Rear facing is the safest place for young children. Don’t rush to turn your child to face forward. Instead, keep your child rear facing until age 2. Even if your child’s legs are outgrowing the space, it’s okay to keep the car seat rear facing until his or her second birthday. Children will figure out how to position their legs as they get bigger, and they will figure out how to be comfortable.
What is your most valuable advice for using car seats? Share in the comments below!
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