Day 28: Car Seat Safety

A lot of people think I’m a freak about car seat safety, overly obsessed, a fanatic. Well, maybe I am, but if something were to happen to my children while riding in a vehicle, at least I can be at peace knowing that I did every possible thing I could to keep them safe.

No, I do not judge other parents for their choices, but I do cringe a little when I see pictures of kids wearing their seatbelts incorrectly or of children who are too small riding in a backless booster with just a seatbelt or of children not in some sort of booster at all when they are clearly too small not to be in one!

My daughter is one month shy of five years old. She is 41″ tall and weighs about 45 pounds. She is still in a car seat with a 5-point harness. In fact, I just bought her a brand new 5-point harness car seat two weeks ago because she had gotten too tall for the one that was in her daddy’s truck, and I do not feel that she is ready to be strapped into the seat using only the truck’s seatbelt. Someone actually said this to me the other day, “Please tell me you’re not going to embarrass her by making her still ride in a car seat once she’s in kindergarten!” My response was, “My fear of her dying in a car crash far outweighs my concerns of her social status as a kindergartner!”

It really doesn’t look to me like she is embarrassed about her car seat status!

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My son is 18 months old, and he is still in a rear-facing convertible car seat. The recommendation is for babies to remain rear-facing until the age of two. We are going to try our best to reach that goal! Our daughter was rear-facing until 18 months, which was the recommendation at the time. I now wish we would’ve waited longer. She actually begs to ride in her brother’s rear-facing seat all the time. If she weren’t over the weight limit, I would let her!

He doesn’t look too uncomfortable either!

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I asked some moms what tips they had about car seat safety, and here are a few responses I received. They are all so important to remember so that your child can be as safe as possible every time he or she ride in a vehicle!

•It’s a chest clip! It doesn’t go on the stomach or crotch.
•Do not dress your child in heavy sweaters, jackets, snowsuits, etc. when they are going to be riding in a car seat. Use a blanket over the straps instead.
•The straps should be tight! You should not be able to pinch the straps at the shoulders.
•In rear-facing seats, the straps should be in the slots at or below the shoulders.
•In forward-facing seats, the straps should be at or above the shoulders.
•Don’t use mats under the car seats.
•Do not use anything inside a car seat that does not come with the seat!! Sorry, moms, that means those cute fluffy strap covers with the puppy dog heads!
•Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible! This is the absolute safest position for your child! Turning 1 does not mean you automatically have to turn your child around!
•If you are in a crash of any sort, your car seats MUST be replaced! Your insurance company should cover the cost of a new seat! (Mine did!)
•Car seats expire!
•Be careful when buying or borrowing a used car seat! You never know if it has been in a crash.
•Car seat straps canNOT be washed!

I am by no means an expert! I do not know everything about car seat safety! I ask questions all the time to certified technicians.

If you aren’t sure if your child’s car seat is installed correctly, find a certified tech near you!

http://www.nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm

Also, this is a wonderful Facebook group for any and all of your car seat questions or concerns!

https://m.facebook.com/groups/118605714939309?ref=bookmark&__user=1037215546

A few great web resources:

http://www.treadingragingwaters.com/2012/02/11-deadly-mistakes-you-didnt-know-you.html?m=1

http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.pdf

http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Traffic%20Injury%20Control/Articles/Associated%20Files/4StepsFlyer.pdf

http://carseatblog.com/10691/what-to-do-with-a-crashed-seat/

http://csftl.org/before-i-knew-better/

http://www.thecarseatlady.com/tips_and_tricks/tips_and_tricks_8.html

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