All of us would agree on how very important it is to use a car seat for your baby. This protects them whenever you’re traveling by automobile from injuries that can cause death. This is required in all states in America, especially for infants. Not only does this prevent death but it also decreases the risk of suffering from fatal injuries. If you’re going to buy one, make sure to follow the car seat guidelines and use it correctly.
You don’t always need to buy the priciest one to get the best car seat for your child. Make sure to fit your car seat with the kid’s weight, age, size, and type of vehicle. Afterward, you should know how to install and use it properly.
You can consult a technician if you’re finding difficulty in installing its car seat. You can find one in health departments, hospitals, and many other public offices.
Tips in Selecting Car Seats
The seat you’ll be buying should meet or exceed the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. You can confirm this by finding the label. If you’re going to use a secondhand seat, accept it with caution. Make sure not to get a seat that is older than six years old or maybe one that had already been involved in a car crash. Also, don’t get one that has parts that are unavailable or does not have a label, manufacture date, instruction manual, or model number. Check for the expiration date too.
Ask the manufacturer how long you can still use a secondhand seat and if it had been recalled. If it had been, you could ask for a replacement. You should also fill the card for product registration so that you’ll get notifications about their recalls.
If you ever decide to get the infant-only seat, you would have to buy a new seat in the future since your baby will outgrow it one day. This kind of seat can only protect up to 35-pound babies or babies who weigh 16 kilos.
When installing one, make sure it’s facing the back of the car, as this can reduce the chance of dying or dying from an injury. This is because such a position will protect the baby’s neck, head, and torso in case a car crash happens. It is also recommended that kids and babies ride the car in this position until such time they reach or exceed the maximum height and its weight the car seat can take. Previously, this was based on age, but now it depends on the weight and height.
You can also use infant-only seats as carriers or chairs for the baby outside the car. Some models can be left placed in the car or be turned into strollers. However, don’t let your baby spend too much time in this kind of seat at the house or the daycare, as it can limit the development of the baby’s movement and sensory skills.
How To Assemble An Infant Seat
You have to read the manual of the product carefully before installing it. Here are some tips to help you.
- You should install infant-only seats in the mid part of the back seat and in a place where it can be secured.
- To fully utilize the safety of the car seat with the seatbelts, read the manual of your vehicle.
- To tighten the seatbelt of the car thoroughly, push down the seat with your knee. The car seat shouldn’t move 3 centimeters sideward, forward, and backward. If it moves or wiggles, you need to tighten it more.
- Some seatbelts need a locking clip so that it won’t loosen. You can get this from baby stores or car seat manufacturers.
- Make sure it’s tight before using.
- Don’t use or install infant-only seats in a forward-facing position.
- The car seat shouldn’t recline for more than 45-degrees.
How To Fasten Your Infant
Before anything, it is important to remember that your baby’s head should be at least 6 cm below the crown of the safety seat.
- Most of the time, infant-only seats only have a 5-point harness so make sure this is placed at your baby’s shoulders or below it. There are also chest clips, which should be placed at the armpit level to prevent loosening.
- The harness should always fit snuggly in the thigh and shoulder area and should be flat. If there is webbing between the fingers when pinching it, then it needs more tightening.
- When using it, your baby should be wearing clothes that free their legs so that you can buckle up the latch in the crotch area correctly. To prevent your baby from being cold, strap them in first and cover with the blanket.
- If your child usually slouches, put towels on both sides of his shoulders to function as a support. Some car seats have supports especially just for them. Never put padding under the baby as it can prevent the harness from protecting the baby properly.
- Change the angle of the seat if the baby’s head is moving forward, which is common with newborns. Blankets can be used to lift the seat back.
How To Ensure Safety in Convertible Seats
First things first: Consult the manual. Read and understand everything before you do the hands-on. Here are the most vital points to remember to ensure the safety of your youngsters in convertible seats:
- There are three types of harness for convertible seats: the 5-point harness, the tray shield, and the T-shield. The first will protect your baby the best as it can be tightened so that it fits snugly and it doesn’t block the head of the baby. The other two harness options, on the other hand, can block the baby’s face, so they’re not advised for babies under 10 kg or a year old.
- The straps should always fit snugly in the shoulder and the thigh areas and lie flat. Tighten it if there is any webbing when you try to pinch it.
- Your baby should be wearing clothes that allow their legs to be free so that you can buckle the latch crotch strap correctly. To prevent your baby from being cold, strap them in first and cover with the blanket.
- Change the angle of the seat if the baby’s head is moving forward, which is common with babies. Blankets can be used to position the seat back within 30 to 45 degrees.
- The harnesses should be readjusted as your baby grows. Place heavy clothing like coats over the baby after being fastened instead of before.
Air Bags and Kids
Airbags, along with the safety belts, are among the things that parents should learn how to use for good. It has and continues to save the lives of kids, teens, and adults. However, infants may be in peril when they are in the passenger seat, and the airbag opens.
Airbags are originally designed for adults, as they have to open to safeguard an average male weighing 75 kilograms. But this force can lead to neck and head injuries with small kids.
Protect the baby from airbag catastrophe with these tips:
- The child’s car seat should be in its back seat. Kids should remain in the back seat until 12 years old. If they have to be at the front seat, the seat should be pushed back as far as it can go.
- You can have a manual cutoff switch to disable the airbag for the passenger as dictated by the law. If you need to sit your child at the front, disable the airbag first and switch it back on once you have removed the car seat.
There are quite a lot of details in this article about car safety, only because that is how vital knowledge on car safety is to parents, guardians, and everyone who is taking care of minors and would love nothing more than their safety. So buckle up, and keep these tips in mind when you’re driving with your little ones.
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