I know I'm always in need of a Car Seat refresher course - so I thought you might benefit from the tips too!
|Note: We were not in a moving car here, hence the unbuckled status. :-)|
Car Seat Safety Tips from Julie Prom, Car Seat Safety Advocate for Chicco
Question 1. "What's the safest way to face? Rear or Forward?"
- Rear-facing is safest. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend rear-facing as long as possible. Parents should keep child rear-facing until at least 2 years old, longer if the car safety seat weight and height limit allows. Young children are fragile and are best protected in a rear-facing car seat. To ensure a child can stay rear-facing as long as possible, purchase a convertible seat when your baby outgrows the infant seat.
Question 2. "How long do I have to keep my kid in a carseat?"
- Most children younger than 5-years old are not mature enough to sit without a full harness. Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until at least 5 or 6 years old.
Question 3. "What's the best resource for correct car seat installation?"
- Most common mistakes can be avoided by simply following manufacturers’ instructions. All car seats must meet stringent Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to be sold in the U.S. It is when they are not used correctly that makes them unsafe. Always read and follow the instructions for the safety seat. Also, read the vehicle owner’s manual section on child restraints.
Question 4. "When it's cold outside, how do I safely keep baby warm in their carseat?"
- Always buckle your baby into the safety seat first, and then cover the baby with blankets. Avoid bulky clothing and add-on products such as car seat buntings. This can interfere with proper harness fit and crash performance of the seat. A good trick for older children is to buckle them in without their jacket and then put it back on them backwards over the harness. Not only do these techniques ensure proper harness fit, but also avoids overheating by allowing the baby to be easily uncovered or the child to take his jacket off once the car gets warmer.
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And just a few more pointers for those of us who are a bit rusty..............
Car Seat Installation Tips
o Air Bags and Children Don’t Mix - NEVER place a rear-facing car seat in the front an active frontal air bag, serious injury or death can occur.
o Back Seat is Best - The back seat is safest for all children. Keep children in the back seat until at least age 13.
o Make it Tight! – A car seat must be installed tightly in the vehicle to do its job. If you can move the seat at the belt path more than an inch side to side or front to back, it’s not tight enough.
o Forward-facing – A Tether is Always Better! - Always use the tether when using a forward-facing car seat. A tether will help hold the top of the car seat back and provide better protection for the child.
o Rear-facing – Keep baby’s Airway Open - Make sure a rear-facing car seat is at the correct angle so your infant’s head does not fall forward.
o Harness Height - Rear-facing, harness should be at or BELOW the child’s shoulders. Forward-facing, harness should be at or ABOVE the child’s shoulders.
o Harness Snug - Make sure the harness is snug! There should be no slack in the harness at the baby’s shoulders. Avoid bulky clothing; this can interfere with harness fit.
o Booster Seats - Ensure the adult safety belt is threaded properly through the belt guides. The lap belt should be on child’s lower hips/upper thighs and the shoulder belt should lay flat across the middle of the child’s shoulder and chest.