According to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 618,000 children died in 2011 between the ages of 0 and 12 because they rode in vehicles without using a baby car seat. While many parents do install a baby car seat to make sure their babies are safe while they drive, they don’t pay much attention to the position of the seat. This is a key element to understand.
There is a total of 5 seats in the car. There are two front seats and three rear seats. Ideally, the baby car seat should be placed on the rear seat.
The position of the baby car seat depends on the type of seat you are using. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct installation.
If you use this type of seat, you will have to take the baby in and out from the roadside of the vehicle.
The best position for the baby car seat in the middle rear seat. This is the ideal position because it is away from the sides of the car. If any accidents occur, the middle seat is safer than the side rear seats.
The middle rear seat also usually has a three-point lap and diagonal seat belt. This is the safest because it restricts the child’s movement.
It is better to use this seat than the opposite side as it allows you to take the baby in and out from the pavement side. Just make sure the seat is installed correctly.
Now, the question that arises is, should the baby car seat be forward-facing or rear-facing?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated its policy statement about children passenger safety. The child should be placed in a rear-facing car seat as long as the height and weight of the baby are within the rear-facing seat limit. The child should be in a rear-facing car seat at least until the age of 2 years.
AAP says it is safest to keep the baby in a rear-facing seat in the car. This is because if an accident happens, the spine, head, and neck of the baby remain safe from injuries. 71% of infants and toddlers are less likely to be lethally harmed if they are in a rear-facing car seat.
When kids exceed the height and weight limits of the baby car seat, it’s time to turn the seat around. At this point, your kids are all set to be in a forward-facing seat. Secure them with the straps in the same way you do with rear-facing seats. There should be no excess space between the collarbone and straps, and the straps should be positioned above the shoulders.
Every parent wants their children to be safe while they travel in a vehicle. To ensure thus, parents install car seats, but according to the AAP, 90% of parents use them incorrectly. The following points should be considered for car seat safety:
The 5 most common mistakes parents usually make when it comes to car seat safety are listed below:
Parents often place it on the front seat of the car so that they can keep an eye on their baby. However, it is recommended that your child travels in the rear rather than the front. The rear seat is safer because it is away from active airbags, which would otherwise be harmful to a child. If the car seat is placed in the front and the airbags inflate, they will hit your child’s seat and cause lethal injuries.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly before installing the car seat. Always check and ensure that the car seat is tightly attached. Read the car’s manual and check the belts of your car and the car seat.
Many parents try to install a car seat but are satisfied when it’s still loose. The seat should be tight, but they think this must be good enough. However, the car seat should not move more than 1 inch from the vehicle’s seat so as to ensure the baby’s safety.
It is a bit tricky to set an accurate recline angle in a rear-facing seat. The right angle for the car seat is generally 45 degrees. If the seat is too straight, the baby’s head may droop forward as infants have weak neck muscles and heavy heads. Always check the manufacturer’s manual for further details. Also, the angle changes with the growth of the baby.
It’s cheaper to use second-hand car seats, but these seats have an expiration date. Do check this date before using it. Also, check if the car seat has ever been through a car crash. You might even ask the manufacturer if the seat is still safe to use.
Parents should ensure that the harness is tight enough. It must fit comfortably. This will prevent the baby from moving into an unnatural position.
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