12 Carseat Safety Facts For Your Infant, Toddler & Big Kid
12 Carseat Safety Facts For Your Infant, Toddler & Big Kid
My beautiful, Britax baby girls are 4 years, 4 months & 6 days old.
1) They DO in fact make carseats/ booster seats for bigger toddlers & young kids that have a 5 point harness and latch system even, not just a belt across.
(Not everybody knows this.)This is by far much safer in a collision for your child. They are more expensive, but they can be used from a younger age/ height/ weight, and can you ever put a price on your child’s safety? I must have the latch system for my kids. Some booster seats just have the belt holding the entire seat (and child) in place – nothing more. These are the cheapest, but surely not the safest, in my personal opinion.
LOOK NOW- 5 point harness booster seats
2) Carseat safety statistics cannot be denied.
Using carseats reduces death in car crashes in infants under 1 year of age by 71% and by 54% in children ages 13 months – 4 years of age.
3) Carseats should NEVER be placed in the front seat of a car.
This may sound like a no-brainer to some moms who are younger, but for older moms with older kids you may remember how it was not deemed unsafe for your child to be next to you in the front while driving. In fact, I remember it being my doctor’s recommendation to do so. With the invention of air bags, and for even more reasons than that, you should never put your child in the front seat of your car. They are safer in the back seat even when they grow into big kids.
4) You should always adhere to the rules and regulations of your particular carseat. They can and do vary.
Nowadays carseats come in various sizes, even the infant ones. They can have weight limits of 22 lbs. or as much as 35 lbs. Some go up to say 27, 29 inches, while others can go up to 30 or even 32 inches in height. Some carseats for larger children may go up to 65 lbs., while others may go up to 80 or 100 lbs. These are seats that are fixed in your vehicle. They are not the ones that can be taken out and carried along with you as a carrier, which does have its pros. It’s a personal choice.
You must stop using a carseat when your child hits either the weight limit or height limit of the particular seat. It need not be both weight and height, and it is usually not. Always read the specifications on every seat that you buy carefully. Never stray from the rules or your child’s safety is in peril.
5) It used to be recommended that toddlers stay rear-facing for the first 12 months (1 year) of life. Now that recommendation has doubled to 2 years of age.
(Even longer if you can do so.)
With the larger models of removable carseat carrier type seats and the larger 5 point harness convertible ones, this is very possible and highly recommended for optimum safety on the road. We bought Graco SnugRide 35’s. They were in them for almost 3 years.
6) The importance of bringing the proper carseat with you to the hospital after giving birth.
You will not be able to take your newborn home from the hospital without a carseat, or with one that is not deemed safe, as carseats are now rigorously tested by the hospital for safety and fit with your newborn prior to you both being released from the hospital. If you have questions or concern about installation, most hospitals are happy to help and check the base and seat out for you free of charge.
7) Many people are unaware that their carseats are installed incorrectly in the vast majority of cases.
A correct and perfect fit in your car is important to the safety of your child. At no cost you may bring your car and carseat to a fire station or police station for correct installation help. Also, there are events that deal with this and carseat inspection center locations nationwide. (See the link below.) Millions of people have trouble correctly installing carseats so do not feel embarrassed about caring about your child’s welfare so much. Always better to be safe than to be sorry.
One study found that out of 3,500 cars a whopping 72% of the carseats inside were installed incorrectly. This increases the chances for injury or worse in a crash. Other sources say as high as 73% are not installed correctly. I have read studies that have even higher numbers. (<80%) Those statistics really make you think. Need to find a carseat inspection center in your area? Click the pink link to find one now.
8 ) The middle of the back seat is the safest spot in the car for your child from infancy to puberty.
If you have two carseats for twins and no 3rd row seating this may not be an option for you, but when it is, it is deemed safest. Our 8 year old sits there in the back row, as we also have a 4th child and a set of twins.
9) Did you know that your carseat actually has an expiration date? I think 90% or more of the population doesn’t even know this.
A carseat expiration date is usually around 6 years or so after production/ sale, but you want to check every particular seat for their own expiration date and adhere to it. The label should be attached to the seat, as is shown below. I always advise a new carseat for every new child you have. I’ve saved them before from previous children, but I have never used them. (This was before I even knew about any expiration dates.)
I know they can be expensive, and people wish to save money, but I always say there are certain things you should NOT skimp on for your baby. A new crib mattress per child, a new stroller and a new carseat. (A new crib to if it has been disassembled and you are unsure if you have all of the pieces, is a drop-side crib or if it has been recalled. This should always be checked on EVERY piece of baby equipment.)
It is said that after 6 years the plastic in the carseat itself can breakdown making it unsafe to use. Make sure the seat is well under that 6 year time period for meximum safety IF you decide to use a used carseat.
If you have your children very close in age using the last 2 items should be just fine.. (the carseat and stroller.) The important thing is for you to know the history of the seat. So do know there are expiration dates, and these dates need be checked before use with another child, or if buying from somebody else in a consignment shop, off of Craigslist, etc. If it doesn’t come with a manual and an attached label on the seat do not buy it. There’s one other reason to avoid buying a used carseat. Move on to #10.
10) Once a carseat has been in a crash it must be replaced.
There can be damage inside of the seat that you cannot visually see. It makes no matter if you just bought it a very short time prior. It is deemed unsafe, and it is worth the money to shell out for a new one. You need to know your carseat’s history. This is very hard to do when buying used from a stranger’s hands. Never buy or take a carseat from somebody where you do not know where it has been. One from your sister’s baby that isn’t expired, a close friend..OK. I personally (again) like having a new seat for every baby, as it is such an important item in a child’s life that is used daily. It can mean life or death though. Nothing is more important than that.
11) Bulky coats, snow suits, etc. make car seats much less safe and effective.
And you just thought it annoyed your child…NOPE! My twins always complained about the straps being too tight and uncomfortable in their bulky coats. I changed to Corky & Co. coats that are non-bully yet warm, and aside from that just put the heat on and took of their coats, putting a blanket on top of them. Little did I know I wasn’t just making my kids more comfortable, I was helping to keep them safer.
When your infant or toddler wears bulky clothing under the car seat straps, their bodies are not being held firmly in place by the straps going over their little shoulders, chest and belly. Carseats are way less effective in car accidents when they are used over such clothing. Remove bulky coats and snowsuits. Turn up the heat and use blankets instead. You are doing more than making for a more comfortable child.
12) Keeping kids rear-facing despite what looks like leg discomfort is still best!
They are not as uncomfortable as you may think.
I remember my twins’ legs looking uncomfortable, even though they didn’t complain about it. This was at 2 and 1/2 years of age. They still hadn’t hit the height or weight limit for the seats they were in, but like many parents I worried about the comfort and safety of their little legs, most especially in case of a potential accident.
Hang on moms and dads, listen to this. Your child’s legs (despite how it looks) are far less prone to injury in an accident while rear-facing than they are foward-facing at this still tender age. Leg injuries while rear-facing are extremely rare. That is why it is now recommended to go to AT LEAST 2 years rear-facing. Most children are not complaining about the comfort of their legs, as despite the ‘look’ they are more comfortable than you may think. (Safer to!)
I hope this helps 😛 !
Tune in next time for more facts about other equipment for baby & child.