Patricia, guest contributor
Car seats are usually one of those things that you don’t pay too much attention to. When you buy a car, you wouldn’t really be too particular with the car seats. Most of the time, the state or the quality of the car seats wouldn’t be a deal breaker when you decide to purchase a car. All of these changes though when there’s a baby involved.
Your decision making when it comes to car seats will be very different once you’re already thinking about the well-being of your baby. In order for you to gain some knowledge regarding car seats here are some safety secrets:
Know the history of your car seat
Make sure the car seat comes with instructions and a label of the manufacture date and model number. It shouldn’t be more than 6 years old. Check if it has no visible damage and missing parts. It must’ve not experienced a severe crash.
Place the car seat in the perfect spot
The back seat of your car is the safest place for your child’s car seat – away from those popping air bags. If the baby was hit with the air bag, it could cause serious damage or injury. If installing only one car seat in the back, it is better if you place it in the center.
Never use the car seat as a replacement crib
The car seat is made to protect your child while traveling. It’s not a crib, so don’t use it as a replacement. Studies show that sitting upright in a car seat may compress a baby’s chest causing of lower intake of oxygen. Also avoid letting your child sleep in the car seat for long periods of time out of the car.
Buckle up your child perfectly
This can be challenging at first, just don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s manual. Follow the instructions and make sure the seat is tightly secured. Remember that it should not be so tight and not be so loose, it should be perfectly fit for the baby to breathe and move a little.
Never recline your child at the wrong angle
In the rear-facing position, incline the car seat according to the manufacturer’s instructions, so the baby’s head won’t flop forward. A lot of seats include angle indicators and adjusters. You can also place a tightly rolled towel under the seat’s front edge to get the right angle.
Moving to a forward-facing car seat too soon
Resist the temptation to place your baby’s car seat in the forward facing position just so you can see his/her cuteness in your rear view mirror. Riding rear facing is only recommended until a child reaches age 2 or the highest weight which is at least 35 pounds.
Don’t dress your baby in a bulky outfit
Harness straps may not give enough protection over your baby’s bulky outfit. If it’s cold, suit your child with a lightweight jacket and a headwear. Buckle the harness and slip a blanket around your baby for warmth.
Using of booster seat
Older children need booster seats to help an adult safety belt fit perfectly. You can switch from a car seat to a booster seat when your child has reached or is over the highest weight, mostly around 40 to 80 pounds. Booster seats are used with a lap and shoulder belt. Make sure the lap belt ties low across the baby’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt intersects at the middle of your baby’s chest.
Hopefully, these 8 Car Seat Safety Secrets gave you more info and knowledge about car seats and how your baby should be treated with it. All you have to do now is to choose the best car seat that you feel is the best for your baby and use it properly. Remember to always read the manual and instruction paper before using your car seat because the safety of your baby while traveling lies in your car seat.
Patricia is a kindergarten teacher turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys writing baby product review, like best jogging strollers, as a way to help others make informed decision.