When we become a parent, the only thing that we want is to keep our precious babies SAFE. There comes a time when our babies need to travel in a safe vehicle with you or someone else and it is very important to know about and understand car seat safety.
When I first became a mom, I had no clue about car seat safety! I have to admit, it was a learning curve and I did a bunch of research on the subject so that my baby was indeed, safe in my vehicle.
I even went to the local fire department and had them double check to see if my baby’s car seat was installed correctly. When they told me it was not, after all my research, I was shocked! However, I learned that day, about car seat safety and how to install a car seat properly.
After baby number 2 I was ready! I knew and had experienced car seat safety and the things I needed to do to ensure that everything was installed correctly. I also knew how to correctly buckle my baby into his car seat. What a relief to already know these things with my second baby! By the time I had my third child, I was a pro 😉
Since I feel much more confident then I did when I first became a mom, about car seat safety, I wanted to share some of my car seat safety tips with you.
If you already know these car seat safety tips, please share them with your friends and family who may not know about them yet. You can never be too safe, especially when it comes to your babies!
Car Seat Safety Tips
*Keep your child rear-facing in their car seat until at least 2 years old, that’s right TWO years old. I kept my youngest rear facing until he was two. He is so small and eats like a bird so I felt this was the right choice for us and the best one for my baby.
Even if your kids’ feet looked cramped, that is FINE. Kids are very flexible (obviously more so than adults) so having their legs a little cramped up is nothing to fret about. They are okay! Kids need to stay rear facing as long as possible because their head and necks are still developing. Our babies are fragile and they are best-protected rear-facing.
I recommend buying a convertible seat when your little one outgrows their infant seat. That way, they can be rear facing for as long as they need to be!
*Don’t buckle your child into their car seat with a bulky coat or sweater! The weather is getting colder and your first thought when your little one goes outside is to put a coat on him/her, right? That is fine! However, when they get into the car, take the coat off and then buckle your precious cargo in! Your child can keep the coat on them like a blanket, to keep them warm during the car ride.
Why can’t I buckle my child in his/her car seat with a coat on? Well, for starters it is unsafe! The added bulk of the coat/sweater will interfere with the car seat harness and the way it fits. So, if you crash your child will have that extra padding/room to move around and he/she can really get hurt! No point in chancing it!
*No matter how time-consuming it may be, always read the instructions manual of the car seat you bought/have. Details can change from car seat to car seat, so be sure to read the instructions and user manual to get things right! That way, you know your child is the safest they can possibly be.
*When in doubt, go to your local fire department! like I said about they can help you install your car seat correctly or check for any issues or problems you may have and help you correct them.
*Now this next one is NOT for inside the vehicle, but is equally important to note because I did this when I was a first-time mom and wish I hadn’t! Do NOT put a car seat on top of a shopping cart (in the front where older children sit)!!
Why can’t you place a car seat on top of a shopping cart? Because if you do, your child can fall or come crashing down. When you put a car seat at the front of the shopping cart, it makes the shopping cart ‘top heavy’ and the shopping cart can tip over, harming your child!
I see this EVERY time I walk into a grocery store and it makes me upset. Sometimes I mention something to the parent and they thank me and other times I get a glare! But, at least I tried to inform the parent, right???
Infant car seats are not designed to be secured to the top of shopping carts. That is all you need to know about this! It is best to either wear your baby on you with a baby wrap (my favorite!) or put the infant car seat into the basket of the shopping cart, keeping it secure. Sure you won’t have a ton of room for groceries but what is more important?
Do you have a child who uses a car seat? Any tips you want to add to my list above? You can also check out this post about the least toxic car seats for your little ones!