Car seat safety is a concern for parents and for the manufacturers of car seats as well. In 2013 alone, there were 61 product recalls related to car seats and children's swing seats. These recalls are created for a variety of safety reasons, but they are always done to make sure that children are always protected. The manner in which car seats are installed and the engineering for the seats themselves has changed significantly over the years. But when it all comes down to it, the reason for all of these recalls and engineering changes is to make sure that children are safe when they are traveling in a vehicle.
Get the Right Seat
Contrary to what you may have heard or read, all car seats are not created equal. In order to make sure that your child is safe, you have to make sure that you have the right car seat. A child's car seat is determined by the child's height, weight, and age. Parents who check the labels of car seats before they buy them will see comprehensive charts that assist in purchasing the correct seat. It is critically important that a child be put in the right kind of car seat because the wrong kind of car seat could be more dangerous than not having a car seat at all.
- Car Seats - Information for Families in 2014 from Healthy Children
- Parents Central Offers a Comprehensive Resource on Sizing a Car Seat
- Car Seat Safety from Kids Health
- Child Passenger Safety - Fact Sheet from the CDC
Proper Seat Placement
It is common for parents of older children to put those children in the front seat of a vehicle, even if the children still sit in a car seat. But the truth is that the front seat presents a myriad of dangers and challenges for children, including hitting the windshield in a crash, and making contact with the dashboard in a collision. Children should be kept secured in the backseat of a car until they are 13 years old. Even when the child is no longer in a car seat, they should be secured using seatbelts in the backseat until they get older.
- Baby Center Shows How to Install a Car Seat
- Safest Spot for Baby's Car Seat? - A Resource from WebMD
- How to Install a Child's Safety Seat from DMV.org
- Car Seat Safety for Newborn Babies from About Kids Health
- Child Seats: Ease-of-Use Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Get Into a Car Seat Routine
If mom and baby get into the car and mom straps baby into the car seat, mom is assuming that dad secured the car seat the last time the family used it. These kinds of assumptions can lead to accidents and injuries that could be serious for you and your baby. Every couple needs to get into a car seat routine that they go through every time they use the car seat. You need to make sure that the seat is secured in the car, and the baby is secured in the seat. The extra few minutes it takes to go through the checklist and develop this routine could make all of the difference in the world.
- One-Minute Car Safety Seat Check from Dignity Health
- The Safe NY Program Offers Advice in Buying a Used Car Seat
- Car Seat Safety Tips from the Children's Trust of South Carolina
Be Careful Of Accessories
Children sometimes travel better in cars when they are given a toy to play with in their car seat. But parents need to be certain that the toy they give their children is safe. A car seat toy should be plush and soft for a few good reasons. For one thing, a plush toy is not going to cause any additional injuries to a child if there is an accident. Secondly, children tend to throw their toys around and a plush toy being thrown at the car window is much safer for the driver and the car than a hard, plastic toy.
- Child Safety Rules from the FAA
- Tips for Keeping Children Occupied on the Road from Kids Can Travel
- Toy Safety from Parents.com
- Top 10 Tips for Toy Safety from Everyday Health
Be Aware Of Your Baby's Situation
Just because the air conditioning in your vehicle is cooling you off in the front seat, this does not mean that it is reaching your baby in the backseat. This can be especially problematic with car seats that are turned towards the back of the seat. You need to be aware of the conditions your baby is experiencing while sitting in their car seat during the drive. Is the temperature comfortable for your baby? Is there direct sunlight on your baby, or is your baby protected? Always be aware of the potential dangers that come from hot and cold weather when you have your baby in their car seat.
- CNN Travel Offers Advice on How to Keep You and Your Baby Comfortable on a Plane Flight
- Parenting.com Explains Some Car Seat Mistakes You May Be Making
- Should You Put Sunscreen on Infants? Not Usually says the FDA
- Sun Safety Tips for Infants, Babies, and Toddlers from the Skin Cancer Foundation
- The Mayo Clinic Explains When it is Okay for a Baby to Wear Sunscreen
By: Daniel Watson