Car seat safety is by far the most important priority for any parent transporting children around in a car. Every state in the USA requires children under a certain age and height to be in a safe and secure car seat while on the road (check here for a full list of age and height requirements by state[i]). It may seem like a no brainer to make sure your child is safe in a car seat; however you may be surprised to know that we lose 4 to 5 children every single day due to car crashes. These deaths are highly correlated to improper car seat installation the majority of the time.
For anyone who does not abide by the rules of their state, there can be a hefty fine that starts at over $100. Money aside though… the worst thing that could happen, is the loss of your precious little one. You can’t put a price tag on that.
Car seat safety rules can be confusing, so it’s Important that you get in contact with your local authorities or a national CPS certified tech if you have any questions. These qualified professionals will ensure that your car seat is properly installed, and also show you step by step on how to insert and remove the car seat from your vehicle. The rules can change periodically, so make sure to check back regularly. Check out this great video tutorial on how to install an infant car seat:
According to The Car Seat Lady[ii], 95% of all parents are misusing their child car seat. Many parents don’t realize that a car seat is actually a piece of engineering genius, requiring considerable training and effort to install correctly. First off, it is essential to buy the right car seat for your child’s age. Although this may mean buying several throughout their childhood, it is very important to have the right fit. Second, making sure the car seat faces the right way is crucial. According to an issue of Pediatrics[iii], children should remain in rear-facing car seats until aged two. An Injury Prevention[iv] study indicated that infants in a car accident are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured if their car seat is rear-facing. These studies indicate how crucial it is to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. Usually, there is a weight limit indicated on the back. And last, it is imperative that parents do their research. Because your child will grow very quickly, it is important to always have the right size car seat. Even as they get older, they must continue to use a booster seat for optimal safety.
Although it can be a challenge, putting your child’s safety first is essential. The more knowledgeable you are with car seats, the safer your family will be. Sites like ChooseCarSeat.com offer invaluable information on car seat safety, as well as honest, unbiased reviews.
If you’re in the market right now to buy a new car seat, make sure to do your research and don’t buy on impulse! Taking your time up front couldn’t be more important – it will save you many headaches down the road! If you are looking to save some money and buy a car seat that will last longer, check out the best convertible car seats at major retailers like Babies ‘R Us, Amazon or BuyBuyBaby. This type of car seat will still fit your infant and face to the rear. The only downside to them is that they tend to be heavier and aren’t as portable.