A car seat is for your child, but its safety isn’t child’s play by any means. Buying a suitable seat and using it properly can be a bit agonizing if you are not equipped with the right knowledge. But getting them right is vital to the safety of your baby is at stake. Don’t be afraid. Consult specialists for information on how to choose the right one and use it properly. It can be tricky, but by avoiding a few common mistakes you can make it spot-on.
Forget the research part
Whether it is a new car seat for your new-born baby or a used one, going through the manual meticulously is of utmost importance. Read the dos and don’ts before installing a car seat. In case of a used one, make sure the car seat comes with guidelines and a label showing the manufacture date and model number. Don’t miss it before buying as expiry date is written on it. Buying without knowing the history, well you are just jeopardizing your baby’s safety.
Place it in the wrong spot
Children should ride in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2 or they outgrow the height or weight limits for the car seat’s position. Rear-facing car seats offer better head and neck safeguard in a bump than forward-facing seats, absorbing crash forces across the car seat’s shell. The safest place for your child’s car seat in the back seat, away from active airbags. Vehicles with no back seat aren’t a good choice for traveling with children.
Using the car seat as a substitute crib
A car seat is not for use as an additional crib in your home. Sitting upright in a car seat may squeeze a newborn’s chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. Airway obstacle – even when it’s mild – can harm a child’s growth. If you are using a convertible, then the problem won’t arise as they can’t be detached from the vehicle. You should double your efforts in researching when you are interested in buying a convertible car seat. Reading buyers guide like this link is a great alternative to help you decide about it.
Improperly buckling up your child
It can be hard at first to properly buckle a child in a car seat. Give yourself extra time before every trip to assure that your child is secured to the seat correctly. Thread the straps through the shell and pad. Place the harness or chest clip with your child’s armpits – not the abdomen or neck. Make sure the straps and harness lie flat against your baby’s chest and over his or her hips with no slack.
Reclining your child at the incorrect angle
A rear-facing car seat should be reclined 30 to 45 degrees. It’s crucial because this angle helps keep the baby’s airway open. If it is too upright, the baby’s head can flop forward and obstruct the airway. Many seats include angle indicators or adjusters to guide you. Keep in mind that as your child grows, you might need to adjust the angle.
Moving to a forward-facing car seat too soon
Don’t put your child’s car seat in the forward-facing position too soon. Riding rear-facing is suggested until a child reaches 14 to 18 kilograms by weight and also depending on their varying heights. When your child reaches the rear-facing weight or height limit of the convertible seat, you can face the seat forward or switch from an infant-only seat to the convertible variety.
Dressing your child in large outerwear
Harness straps may not provide enough protection over a baby’s bulky outerwear. If necessary, buckle the harness snugly and then tuck a blanket around your baby for warmth. Save the bulky outerwear for outdoors.
Moving to a booster seat too early
Older children need booster seats to help an adult safety belt fit correctly. Most parents have a tendency to move their children to booster seat before they are big enough. Remember your child will be safe in a car seat with a harness. Most kids can safely use an adult seat belt sometime between ages 8 and 12.
Improperly using a booster seat
Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt – never a lap-only belt. Make sure the lap belt lies low and snug across your child’s upper thighs and that the shoulder belt crosses the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder. Backless booster seats also must be used with a lap and shoulder belt. Consider using a high back booster that fits your child’s height and weight if your vehicle has low seats in the back. Many parents think more is better when it comes to car seats and will install their car seat with both the latch system and the seatbelt. This can actually be more harmful than being of help.
Forgetting to Register the Car Seat
It can be easy to overlook the small registration card that comes with every new car seat, but it’s an important tool in keeping your child safe. Registering your car seat allows the car-seat manufacturer to alert you in the event of a recall in the event they discover any fault with the batch or their process.
Always bear in mind that it’s for your kid’s safety, so never compromise on quality and safety features and guidelines.