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Car Seat Safety: 3 Out of 4 Are Improperly Installed

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Anyone who has children know that in addition to the baby, there’s a lot of gear. The car seat is a big decision and while many opt to switch the little one from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing one at the child’s first birthday, the American Academy of Pediatrics is now advising parent to keep their child facing back until they turn two years old, or meet the weight and height guidelines on the car seat.

As a mother to many, I know the evolution of car seats and recommendations. I think they changed with every child..even the three I had in three years!

I use to believe if a child’s feet could touch the back of the vehicle’s seat in a rear-facing car seat, it meant it was time to change them to forward-facing. Now I know there is ZERO documented cases of rear-facing children breaking their legs, hips or feet due to their feet touching the back of the vehicle seat.  Studies show that forward-facing kids are actually more likely to have leg injuries.

If you have a wobbly baby in the car seat, due to her size, place rolled receiving blankets or towels along each side. This provides additional support and cushion. Do not, however, place anything under the harness straps.

Being from Utah, we’re use to snow. If you live where it snows, please do not place your child in their car seat with their snow suit on as it will compress in the event of impact and therefore, the straps won’t be snug enough, rendering the car seat useless. This can be tested by putting the baby in a sleeper and adjusting straps on car seat so they are snug. Then put baby in the snow-suit, and try to put baby in the car seat. If you DO NOT need to adjust the straps any looser, then it’s safe. If you do need to adjust the straps, it’s not safe. It’s a good test for bulkier outfits. You want the straps to be snug right to their skin, not snug to the outfit. If you’re concerned, then use a blanket over the baby. Or they make cap-style car seat covers that do not go under the baby that are good options.Let’s talk about the harness. If, after you’ve tightened your child into his car seat, you can still pinch the fabric of the harness straps between your fingers, the harness is too loose. This creates a danger because a child whose harness is too loose can easily come out of his seat in a crash. Tighten the harness and keep in mind that it should be snug and have NO slack.

Sadly, car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages twelve and under, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . It’s an average of two children everyday who die and another 300 children injured.

According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,  75 percent of children are riding in a car safety seat that isn’t properly installed or doesn’t fit correctly.

 

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