When it comes to you and your precious child, keeping them safe in the car seat is crucial to any outing in your vehicle. However, the simple process of anchoring the seat, securing it with buckles, and even adjusting for your child’s size could leave you overwhelmed. Here are a few ways to keep your child safe in the car without losing your patience in the process.
Pick the Right Car Seat
Child seats save lives, and they are critical for getting from point A to point B safely. By properly securing your baby in its seat, the CDC estimates a 71% increase in the likelihood of surviving a car accident. When choosing the seat, consider:
- Weight and height
- Adherence to safety standards
From birth to age 2, only seat your child in a rear-facing seat, based on their weight. From age 2 to age 4, a forward-facing seat is required, as long as the child doesn’t exceed 40 points. Children over age 4 still require a booster seat, but it can be removed when the lap belt can rest on the thighs, and the shoulder belt crosses the chest.
Examining Seat Quality
With the many brands available, your decision may still be a bit daunting. However, there are a few features that will guide you:
- Safety label, which shows that the seat meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
- A five-point harness, which offers greater protection than a three-point harness or a seat belt alone.
- A four-star or five-star rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which will be easy to use and will offer straightforward instructions
Even with all of these considerations, policies may change. If you are putting your new baby in any car seat, make sure it is new and has not been in any previous accidents that may impact its effectiveness.
Installing the Car Seat Properly
After picking the right seat, you need to follow the instructions carefully to properly install it. Most car seats have similar setups, but these instructions will guide you for this particular model. The car seat should only be installed in the back of the car, pushing down to allow straps to be tightened as much as possible.
If you continue to have difficulty during car seat installation, your local fire department may be able to install it for you for free. However, you should still examine the instructions for your personal knowledge.
Take No Chances
Life is filled with many opportunities to save time and money, but the purchase of a car seat is not that time. Follow the proper procedures to keep your baby safe in your car, and check your local laws on care safety. Furthermore, always check your car to make sure you have not left your baby inside, eliminating the stress of any safety threat.