September is National Baby Safety month.
If you are buckling kiddos in the backseat, be sure you are doing it right. A staggering 7 out of 10 kids in child safety seats are not buckled in properly.* There are so many different car seats available to choose from and none of them have the exact same safety guidelines. If you are unsure of how your car seats should be working, definitely take the time to read your seat manufacturer’s guidelines and check out seatcheck.org
to find a certified inspection station near you. You will never regret taking the time to do it.
One of my biggest pet peeves is having baby’s car seat
rear-facing. I hate not being able to see the baby and when you are frantically reaching around to find that lost pacifier or toy; it is nigh impossible to do it when they are backwards. And when the kids get older and can voice their distaste for a car seat it is totally frustrating to listen to them whine about how they should be out of a “baby seat” now.
Despite all that, it is SAFER for them.
Only 31% of parents follow the manufacturer’s safety guidelines when deciding to change their child’s car seat from rear-facing to forward-facing. Why? Because baby’s feet were touching the vehicle seat or baby was uncomfortable or fussy. None of those reasons seem sufficient when it comes to protecting your child. The possibility of being in a serious car accident always exists.
Here are some other great safety tips from Julie Prom, Car Seat Safety Advocate for Chicco:
1) Rear-facing is safest. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend rear-facing as long as possible, until at least 2 years old.
2) Most children under 5 years old are not mature enough to sit without a full harness. Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat until at least 5-6 years old.
3) Common car seat mistakes can be avoided by following the manufacturer’s instructions. When car seats are not used correctly they are unsafe. Be sure to read the vehicle owner’s manual section on child restraints too.
4) Always buckle baby into the car seat first. Any blankets can be put on top. Avoid bulky clothing and add-on products as that can interfere with a proper harness fit.
5) Always use the top tether when installing a forward-facing car seat. A tight installation of the seat reduces movement in a crash.