If you want to keep your little one safe choosing a right car seat for your baby should be on the top of your list. Think of your child’s car seat as a parachute that slows fall and cushions his landing in a crash. Let’s face it: car seat should save your baby’s life during an accident. So why so many parents do not bother to choose the proper one? Why are we making so many mistakes when we are trying to fit them in our vehicles? It’s really hard to answer that questions. I don’t want to say that we are lazy or don’t care about our baby’s safety because it’s not true. But I can point here 5 most common car seat mistakes and help you to avoid them in the future.
1. Skipping the manual! You can think that as a parent you know everything so you don’t need a manual and who would spend half of the day to read it. But you should. Not only car seat manual but also your car manual! I watched youtube video before I instal my son’s seat and on the beginning, I try it with a teddy bear to see how to put harness straps, what angle should be etc.
2. Winter jackets and car seats are not matched! If your child is in a winter jacket, it may result in their harness straps being too loose to provide enough protection for them in the case of an accident. It’s better to take a blanket and wrap it around your child once they’re properly restrained in their seat. Don’t take the risk! Remember about one very important rule: you should only fit one finger between your child’s collarbone and the harness strap
3. Transitioning to forward-facing too soon! I can advise you to keep your toddlers in rear-facing seats until age 2 or until they exceed the height or weight limit for their car seat, which is typically 20 pounds for an infant seat, and 35 to 40 pounds for a convertible seat. I know that my son will be using the rear-facing seat as long as possible even until his 4th birthday. Why? Because rear-facing seats are 5 times safer than forward- facing. Here is a video which every parents should see before they will start thinking about transitioning his child to forward -facing car seats.
4. Harness straps are in wrong slots. It’s one thing you need to remember: In the rear-facing position, straps should be in slots at or just below the shoulder. In forward-facing position, straps should come through the uppermost slots (unless a particular car seat’s instructions specify otherwise).
5. Not asking for professional help. Don’t try to choose a car seat by your own if you can ask an expert for a help. Installing a car seat correctly is not easy. Certified experts are here to help you and usually, it’s free. Also if you’ve already bought a seat you can ask them to check what mistakes you’ve done like if your car seat or its straps are too loose, or if your straps or chest clip is positioned at the wrong height.
There is something more you should know!
- know the law and always use a car seat
- choose the correct group option
- check the seat is compatible with your vehicle
- if your baby’s seat has a support leg, or you have a base with the support leg, bear in mind that the leg cannot rest on the lid of the storage box
- do not fit a rear-facing child car seat to a seat with an active front airbag
- your baby should not spend more than 90 minutes at a time in their seat (oxygen levels can drop when babies are in a car seat as a result of them being ‘scrunched’ over)
Let me know if you’ve made any of those mistakes and how you’ve figured out that you’ve done something wrong.