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Car Seat Safety – What You Don’t Know

Car seats can often be found nestled in the aisles between the stuffed animals and strollers, but they are far from being a simple choice. These serious and often complex pieces of equipment require research. Find out before you buy how compatible they are with your mode of transportation. Not all best infant car seats suit all cars, or all children for that matter.

Peg perego infant car seat

You probably know about the importance of infant car seats. You probably also know they need to be positioned in the rear facing position. But did you know that you need a transitional seat between the infant carrier model and the convertible seat facing forward? It’s true. Once an infant outgrows their first car seat, typically between 20 and 22 pounds and 26- to 27 inches, they can be moved to a convertible seat, facing toward the rear still.

This is the first of 5 tips to ensure the safety of a child in a car seat:

Tip 1. Do Not Rush to Turn the Car Seat Forward.

The longer your baby stays facing toward the rear, the better chance his spine will be supported in the event of a collision. There is no such thing as a minor fender bender when there is an infant in the car.

The general rule is that the baby should be one year and 20 pounds at the absolute bare minimum. It is recommended that no child be turned to face forward under one years of age, regardless of their weight.

Tip 2. Avoid Car Seat Accessories.

The numerous toys and tightening devices on the market should not be attached to the car seat. These after market accessories have not been tested or held to the same standards as the car seats themselves.

Specifically, tightening devices are gadgets that are intended to take up slack in the seat belt. The possibility of these detaching and becoming a dangerous projectile in the case of a crash are high and so, should not be used.

Toy bars that did not come with the car seat should be avoided as well. The area in front of a child should be clear of potential hazards. The same can be said for comfort products that attach to the harness straps. The problem with these lies in the fact that the padding can make it hard to know how effective the straps are in the event of an accident or even short stop. The padding can negate a seat’s performance.

Tip 3. Use Recommended Products.

Surprisingly the recommended products for making the ride more comfortable for your baby are inexpensive and commonsense items rather than pricey accessories. These include a rolled up receiving blanket placed alongside an infant to keep them snugly in place. Blankets or towels can also be placed around an infant’s floppy head to give them extra support. Short lengths of pool noodles can also be used in place of a rolled piece of fabric. The advantage to using these foam rolls is that they can be custom cut to fit and are simple to rinse off and replace as needed.

Tip 4. Walk Away from Used Car Seats.

Secondhand car seats are not a good idea. If car seat safety is important to you, then purchase an up to date model. Give your child the best possible shot at a safe car trip with up-to-date protection. If it is a financially difficult to purchase a new car seat, ask at the hospital if there are any programs in place that supply car seats, they can put you in touch with a charitable organization, or may be a provider themselves.

Tip 5. Locate a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Schedule an appointment. Be aware that there is often a waiting list, so sign up early if expecting your first child and want to be sure the seat is placed properly. If there is not a technician in your area, visit the Safety Belt Safe USA website for more helpful tips, including recall information and proper installation.


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