No matter if you’re a new parent or an experienced one, regulations as innovations in the way children are seated within the car are constantly changing. Thus, it is no surprise why many parents tend to constantly stress over the question of if their son or daughter is correctly fastened to their car seat, and that’s just the installation. There are a variety of other factors that come into play through your baby’s infancy. So, in order for you to be a little more confident about the safety of your child, the following list includes some of the most important things to know about car seat safety.
The Legal Requirements
The first thing you must know is that placing your baby or toddler in a car seat is the law within most states. Although the law regarding a child’s seat varies from state to state, they are all pretty much the same. What you really want to look at is the recommendation from your manufacturer. The car seat’s manufacturer must meet federal standards before placing your child in it. Failure to have your child within a proper car seat can lead to fines or worse.
Types of Car Seats
Understandably, parents take hours or days attempting to find the perfect car seat for their child. The simple answer to this is that most car seats are the same only because they all need to follow certain federal standards. However, if you are searching for a car seat that can not only provide your child protection but last you throughout their growth spurts than a convertible car seat is your answer. Convertible car seats have a variety of benefits that may make your life easier. They are able to be fastened forward-facing or in the rearview position.
Read the Manual
Understandably, no one wants to read an entire manual. However, parents must understand that every car seat has its own intricacies of installation. One manner of buckling in your child that would have worked on another car seat may not work with a newer model, and thus place your child in danger. If you find that the manual is a little too complicated, you can always reach out to your local Child Passenger Safety Technician. If one is not available, you should also consider calling directly to the car seat’s customer service hotline to see if they can aid in the installation process.
When to Face Forward
Even after the right seat is chosen and you know how to fasten them in safely, a new question arises. When is the right time to face the child forward? Most parental guidebooks, as well as some state laws, require parents to face children towards the rear of the car. This is done to protect them in the event of a car crash. Children, especially babies, do not have the strength to brace for impact and thus can become seriously injured if facing forward where whiplash might be an issue. Most recommendations state that a child can be turned forward-facing after the age of 2. However, those are suggestions based on providing convenient access to the baby for parents. If it’s possible, it would be recommended to keep your child facing the rearfor as long as possible.
Don’t Fall for the Myths
When it comes to the proper installation of a child car seat, you’re going to hear it all. Your grandmother might say that your child looks too “squished” in their seat. Others might warn you about keeping your child facing the rear. Whatever you hear, always make sure it’s backed up with facts and the recommendation from your specific car seat.
It’s no surprise that parents facing the challenge of finding a car seat may find it to be a little daunting and confusing at the same time. Although it is encouraged to adhere to the tips listed above, it should also be noted that you must conduct your own research involving your specific car seat.
Here’s another article you might like: Who’s at Fault in the Event of a Car Accident?