Car Seat Safety
Given that the bodies of babies are still developing, they are more susceptible to injuries during crashes than adults are. The spinal chord of a child is particularly vulnerable to injury since a child typically has a head larger than their body which puts a lot of strain on the spine during a crash. As such, if the baby is riding in a forward facing seat during a crash, the stretching of the still developing spine might be so severe as to result in severe injury or even be fatal. According to Sheryl Brown of Best Convertible Car Seat HQ Even the best convertible car seat may not offer adequate protection if you are in a severe crash. However in some instances even the best convertible car seat under $100 can work very well to protect the child. Nonetheless, if you have the baby ride in an infant or convertible seat in the rear facing mode, their upper body including their spine, neck and head is cradled by the back of the baby seat protecting their most vulnerable parts in the instance of a frontal crash.
Research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics established that children that ride in a rear facing infant or convertible car are less likely to get serious injury when involved in a crash as compared to child that were in rear facing convertible car seats. Check out the following baby car seat installation video on how to install your baby seat.
Infant Seat Safety Recommendations for your Kid
The following are some important recommendations from the experts on how to use a child safety seat:
- The baby needs to ride in the rear facing mode until she is two years or older or exceeds the weight and height limit for a convertible car seat of recommended by the manufacturer of the baby car seat. Some child safety seats have weight limits of up to 35 pounds of more. While an older child’s legs may bend at the knees, this should not be of concern as it will not harm their feet or knees.
- Always have your baby in a rear facing baby seat in the middle of the back seat of the vehicle. It is advisable to have the child in the backseat since having them in the front seat potentially exposes them to serious injury or even death from the airbags that are meant for adult passengers.
- The shoulder straps need to be below or at your child’s shoulders. With most convertible car seats having a set of harness slots, it is easy to make adjustments to these as the child grows.
Ensure that your harnesses are correctly installed by doing the following:
- The top part of the chest clip needs to be at the armpit level
- The straps need to lie flat and horizontal to the chest without any twisting and sagging
- Ensure the harness is snug such that you would not be able to pinch the material after the child is buckled in
5. Do not use a blanket between the harness straps and the baby or even behind or underneath her. Do not dress the child in bulky outerwear such as heavy jackets as this may make the harness ineffective as it will not be as tight as it should be. Instead have a warm blanker over the harness and child.
6. When you notice that your child’s head is nearer to the top of the car seat, it may be a sign that he is outgrowing the seat. Anything between one inch and the top of the rear facing car seat may be an indication that it is time to get another car seat.