With the arrival of your tiny bundles of joy, your priorities change. Before thinking about yourselves, you think about your babies.
Parents want their kids to be happy, healthy, and most importantly safe from everything that poses a risk of harming them. You can easily protect your child when he is with you at home by baby proofing the house, but what about when he is outside the house?
Road accidents are quite common across the globe. To protect your baby from such unfortunate accidents, you must take precautionary measures. A car safety seat is the best and easiest way for protecting your baby. In the United States of America, it is mandatory to use a car seat for kids.
However, installing the car seat is not enough to keep your child safe during road trips. As a caregiver, you have to learn all about car safety tips to keep kids safe.
Don’t worry we have got you covered. In today’s article, we will throw light on the top 14 tips to keep your child safe in a car seat.
Top 14 Tips To Keep Your Child Safe In A Car Seat
1. Choose The Right Car Seat
Shopping for a baby is a stressful experience for many parents, especially new parents. People will suggest numerous things like baby clothes, toys, bath essentials, baby gear or other baby accessories. Remember, that what makes one baby comfortable and happy, doesn’t guarantee the same for your baby.
Therefore, never rely 100% on advice and suggestions. Make a little effort of researching and then select the correct car seat for your baby.
Consider the following points when investing in a car seat:
a) Convertible Car Seat
It is a good thing to invest in things that give you more value for the money spent. If possible, try to invest in a convertible car seat to last you till your baby reaches toddlerhood.
A convertible car seat is one of the best toddler car seats. It can easily be turned towards the front-facing and accommodate the weight and height of the toddler.
b) Read Your Vehicle's Owner’s Manual
It is very important to read the manual to understand how the car seats will be attached to your vehicle. Car safety seats can either be attached by using the seat belts or the LATCH system. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system.
Before purchasing the car seat decide which one do you want to use for your baby and then think about how you want to install it? Either by attaching it to a belt or LATCH.
If you decide to attach the car safety seat by using LATCH, then you must know where the LATCH attachments are in your vehicle.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing a car seat. Make sure the car seat has a 5 point harness to keep your little one safe. Furthermore, ensure that the straps of the car seat are adjustable according to the height and weight of your baby.
d) Easy To Clean
You don’t intend to keep your baby in a dirty car seat, do you? Buy something that can easily be cleaned by wiping it with a damp cloth.
2. Install The Car Seat Correctly
If the car seat is not installed properly then it is not safe for your child. Make sure to follow the instructions mentioned in the booklet.
Do not miss any step and follow it exactly as directed by the booklet. Before you finalize the purchase, ask all the necessary questions about the installation and fittings of the car safety seat from the seller.
After you have installed the car seat, do not put your baby inside and go for a drive, no. Test if it’s installed properly or not. Ask your friend or a family member (who’s had enough experience with car seats), to check for its proper installation.
Once your friend or a family member gives you a green signal, then place your baby and check one again if it is properly balanced or not.
3. Never Remove Your Child From The Seat While The Car Is Moving
It is a natural reflex of parents to pick up their babies when they are crying their eyes out. Remember, never remove your child when the car is moving. Try to calm your crying baby without taking him out of the car seat.
Removing your child from the seat while the car is moving can be very risky for the baby. If the car jerks while you are taking out your baby, it might hurt the baby’s head.
If you must remove the baby, then do so after parking your car but never in a moving car.
4. Activate The Child Safety Locks
If your car seat has wheels that enable you to move it while the baby is inside it, then do not keep it near the doors.
In case if something hits against the car doors, your baby will suffer the injuries. Furthermore, if your child is a toddler, and a clumsy one, then activate the child safety locks.
This will prevent your naughty toddler from using his little fingers from opening the car door to surprise you.
5. Lock The Power Windows
Power windows are easy to use. By just pressing a switch you can lower or raise them easily. While this may be very convenient for adults, it poses a risk to the safety of your toddler.
As mentioned above, keep the car seat away from the windows. Always lock the power windows, so that your toddler doesn’t entertain himself by lowering and raising the glass. It can cause him to hurt his fingers or hand.
Locked windows also prevent the risk of dust or any other things entering inside the car due to the pressure of the wind.
6. Harness Tension
If you keep the safety straps loose, then what is the point of using a car seat?
Safety points and harnesses should not be loose. They should be tight enough to keep your child secure and safe. To check if the harness tension is proper or not is by checking through two fingers. Place the fingers on your child’s collarbone. If the strap feels tight on your fingers it means it is perfectly fit for your baby.
7. Keep The Car In Backseat
Never make the mistake of placing your baby’s car seat in the front. It increases the risk of injuries in case of accidents.
Always keep the car seat and back. Front seats have airbags to keep the adults and teens safe during a collision. They have proven to be very helpful in saving numerous lives during accidents.
But, the same airbags can be detrimental for your little one. Airbags open with a great force i.e. is 200 miles an hour. This force is extremely harmful to your baby and can even cost you his life.
Therefore, place your kids in the back seat. However, if you must keep the car seat in front, then push the passenger seat as far as you can. Moreover, temporarily disconnect the airbag to keep your baby safe.
8. Clean The Seat
Keeping in view the global pandemic it is high time to maintain cleanliness for your keeping your babies safe from COVID-19. Don’t let the car safety seat stay dirty.
Make it a routine to clean it properly. If you can remove the seat’s fabric, do so and clean it thoroughly, if not then simply wipe the entire car seat and use an antiseptic liquid diluted in water to sanitize it.
9. Do Not Overdress Your Baby
The majority of parents make the mistake of dressing up their babies in heavy coats and jackets and then place them in the car seat.
Heavy clothing makes it difficult to tie the safety strap to fit the baby. Remove all the heavy jackets and then place your baby inside the car seat. Don’t worry about the cold weather, keep a soft warm blanket and place it over the car seat and tuck it inside the baby’s shoulder to keep him warm.
10. Don’t Use A Second Car Seat
While it may sound very tempting to save a few dollars by buying a second-hand seat, it might be compromising the safety of your baby.
If the car seat that you wish to buy was present in the car during a crash or accident, do not use it. It might appear perfectly fine on the surface, but you never know it might have been damaged from the inside.
If the car seat is being passed on to you by a friend or a family member, check for the missing parts, manufacture date, and model number. If the manual of that car seat is not available then do not use such a seat.
Furthermore, if the car seat has signs of wear and tear, or isn’t very sturdy, then drop the idea of using it for your baby.
11. Keep Kids Rear-Facing For As Long As Possible
It is highly advisable by experts to keep your baby’s car seat in the rear-facing position until they turn two.
Many parents believe that by placing the car seat in the rear-facing position, a child is at a greater risk of leg injury in an accident or collision. However, they are mistaken.
Your kids will be at a greater risk for leg injuries when they are facing forward. Because during an accident, their feet will come in contact with the car seat that will move towards them. This compression of the car seat will result in a serious leg injury.
Therefore, never keep your child’s car seat in the forward-facing position.
12. Never Park The Car Under Direct Sunlight
Parking your car directly under the sunlight can increase the temperature inside the car up to 10 or 20 degrees. Your baby’s car seat will get warm because of it. Moreover, the plastic and metal parts in the car seat will get hot to the point where your baby will feel warm.
Increased temperatures are not safe for your baby. Make sure to park your car in a shady area to prevent the overheating of the car and the baby’s safety seat.
13. Never Leave Your Child Alone
Even if you have to step out for just a few seconds while your child is inside the car, do not do it. Never leave your child alone no matter how secure he is in his car seat.
A lot can happen in just a second, the baby’s seat could either get imbalanced and he will fall, or maybe out of the blue a car can hit your vehicle. Moreover, if you have a toddler, never trust him and step out of the car. These naughty creatures look for moments when they are alone to pull their latest stunt.
Also, if you have older kids, do not rely upon them as well. If they try to start the engine and the car starts moving, they all will be in grave danger along with the infant. One of the parents should stay inside the car. If you must step out of the car, take your child along with you.
14. Never Place Heavy Objects Or Bags Near The Car Seat
This is one of the common mistakes parents make that they keep heavy bags or other items near the baby’s car seat. If the speed of the car increases, the bags or the objects might get imbalanced and topple over your baby.
Your little one will not be able to save himself from the heavy objects. Therefore, avoid doing it. Keep all the heavy stuff in the boot/trunk of the car.
Pulling The Plug!
The safety of a child is the utmost priority of the parents. Do not only take measures to keep them safe while they’re inside the house, but also when they are with you on the road.
Properly install a good car seat for them that offers a 5-point harness and safety straps. Furthermore, do not drive in a high space when with a baby. Follow all the traffic rules to keep yourself and your baby safe from any misfortunate accidents.