With the birth of each of my kiddos, one of the things I was most concerned about, was making sure we had a safe and reliable car seat and making sure it was installed correctly. There are many factors in choosing a car seat and knowing how to install it, so it didn’t suprrise me that The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in San Diego has released findings that 93% of parents leaving the hospital made at least one critical error when installing or using their car seat. Unfortunately this has happened to me, and many others! Thankfully though, while this is a troubling statistic, it’s an issue that can be easily addressed by spreading the word about car seat safety and proper installation.
Car Seat Safety Tips – By the experts at Safety 1st
Importance of Rear Facing
In March of 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their car seat recommendations advising that children should remain rear facing until the age of two. According to a study in the Journal of Injury Prevention children under the age of two are 75% less likely to die or be severely injured in the event of a car crash if they are rear facing. When a child is rear facing their head, neck and spine are better supported and in the event of an accident, crash forces are distributed over the child’s entire body.
Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat, and never install a car seat in the front seat. If your car does not have a latch connector for the middle seat, you can use the middle seat belt to properly secure the base. When installing, make sure the base of the car seatmoves no more than an inch from side to side. An easy way to test this is to hold at the belt path.
Car Seat Expiration
Car seats do have an expiration date, it is recommended that car seats be replaced every 5-8 years, or immediately after a crash. The reason for an expiration date is because plastic can warp and materials can fray, which can make car seats not as effective in the event of a crash. Additionallycar seat technology and state and federal car seat regulations change over time. Important warning labels may wear out and instruction books may get lost, which can lead to improper use of the car seat.
Safeguard the Car
Childproof the inside of the car and eliminate projectiles. Anything in the car that is not secured is a possible projectile – even a child’s toy, or a water bottle. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces.
These are some fabulous tips to keep in mind when thinking about car seat safety and proper installation. Stay tuned for a review and giveaway of a Safety 1st Infant Car Seat!