While any parent would scoff at those ideas with a shake of their head and an obviously not comment, the majority of us are making just as dangerous of a choice with our car seats. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in San Diego just released findings that 93% of parents leaving the hospital made at least one critical error when installing or using their car seat.
How scary is that statistic?
It should be a goal of parents everywhere to help raise awareness about this important topic so if you or anyone you know has a child in a car seat, be sure to look closely at the following car seat safety and proper installation tips from the consumer safety experts at Safety 1st.
Safety 1st is driven by a single-minded focus of making the world a safer and happier place for our cherished little ones to grow up in — whether in their car seat on their first ride home, snuggled in a bassinet, or staying entertained in a bouncer.
They attribute their continued success to an unwavering commitment to child safety, innovation, quality and value and these car seat safety tips are just another way that they have set out to help parents everywhere.
Importance of Rear Facing
In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two.
According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child's entire body.
Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat and never install a car seat in the front seat. If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base. When installing, make sure the base of the car seat moves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.
Car Seat Expiration
Car seats do have an expiration date, it is recommended that car seats be replaced every 5-8 years, or immediately after a crash. The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats not as effective in the event of a crash.
Additionally, car seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change over time. Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.
Safeguard the Car
Childproof the inside of the car and eliminate projectiles. Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile – even a child's toy or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.
When it comes to staying safe in the car, eliminate risks as much as possible with these tips, plus:
- Tighten the harness snugly enough so that you can't pinch any slack between your fingers in the harness webbing.
- Make sure the chest clip is at the level of the infant's armpit.
- In the rear-facing car seat the harness should come through the slot at or below the child's shoulders.
- Make sure you adjust the car seat at the correct angle. If it is too tight there is a risk of the baby's airway getting blocked and if it is too reclined, it won't protect the baby in a crash.
- Use either the seat belt or the lower anchors, but not both, to secure the car seat — unless the manual specifically says you can use both.
Head over to Safety 1st to find out more and to see their full line of high quality products that can help keep your child safe and secure in the event of a crash. I love that their amazing Air Protect + technology combines the advanced protection of the Air Protect cushion system with patented GCell HX foam (designed with hexagonal shapes for superior protection around the torso). Together they provide full body side impact protection!
You can also find out more and connect with Safety 1st on Facebook and Twitter. And, thanks to their generosity, one person will be prepared to keep their little one buckled up in the best way possible, because...
One lucky person will win an onBoard 35 Air+ Infant Car Seat from Safety 1st (ARV $169.99)!
A big thank you to Safety 1st for providing the information for this post and a car seat for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.