If you are anything like me, car seats and the never-ending list of ways they can be used wrong can send you into a panic-filled tizzy-fit. Just like purchasing a really nice, expensive camera won't instantly ensure that you take seamless pictures (yep, learned that the hard way), purchasing a top safety-rated car seat won't automatically guarantee a safe trip. Education and execution are key. Learn the guidelines forwards and backwards so you can teach them to your loved ones and rest easy knowing that your precious bundle is safe and sound whether baby is traveling with you or friends and family.
Many of you are familiar with the more obvious and basic tips, but here is a quick little snippet on some facts that may not be so common-knowledge.
Shoulder Strap Positioning
Most parents don't know that shoulder straps need to be in different places depending on if the child is rear facing or forward facing. These different positions ensure the least amount of forward (if forward facing) or upward (if rear facing) movement in the event of a car accident.
- If your child is rear facing, shoulder straps should be at or no more than 1" BELOW a child's shoulder height.
- If your child is forward facing, shoulder straps should be at or no more than 1" ABOVE a child's should height.
Chest Clip Positioning
A child's chest clip should always be across their "tickle zone" or "armpit to armpit." This ensures that the rib cage will take the most stress in the event of a car accident and avoid causing harmful impact to the lower torso region, causing damage to your child's internal organs.
In addition, the chest clip can sometimes shatter in a car accident. If the chest clip is too low (accessing organs) or too high (near the neck) then those shattered pieces can puncture the skin and cause additional damage.
Third Party Products
Third party products refer to anything that is not sold by the car seat
manufacturer as a "car seat accessory," including seat pads, car seat covers, car seat mats, etc. It is important to note that if you are using a third party accessory and get in a car accident, the manufacturer can claim that you were not using your car seat properly if your child gets injured.
For this reason, it is wise to always consult with your car seat manufacturer prior to using a third party product.
To learn more about safe car seat practices consult our other blog post written by our CPS Certified technician!
You've spent good money on top rated baby gear and the hospital bills to get baby here safely, now protect your investment by using it correctly.
Written by Witney Loftin