As parents we try to educate ourselves with as much car seat safety advice as we can. It gives us a little piece of mind before we set off on a journey. We’re sure that if you’re an excited and slightly nervous first time parent, you will be knee deep in safety research! It’s always better to be safe than sorry so we have collated this short blog to help you called ‘Five mistakes you may not realise you’re making!’
1. Parents not wearing their seat belts!
You may be thinking, “what has this got to do with my child?” Firstly, (and the obvious) you are the best role model for your young one, and you should always lead by setting a good example. Your child will copy what they see you doing. Secondly, if there is a full load of people in the car and you are required to sit in the back alongside a carseat, it is essential you buckle up. In the unlikely event of an accident, this means you won’t injure anyone within your range (your child in particular).
2. Car Seats have life cycles just like us!
Yes car seats do expire. Lifespans of car seats do vary between manufacturers and can be found date stamped into each seat. You need to ensure your car seat meets the current standards for your market and is safety certified for the current date in time. If you are in the market for a car seat, we strongly recommended you purchase it brand new and that you try before you buy.
You can never be sure of a car seats history and whether it has previously been in an accident if you buy second hand. An already damaged car seat will not perform how it is designed to! Please check your car seat for its expiry date.
3. Bulky clothing, blankets and sleeping bags!
It is recommended to remove all bulky clothing before harnessing in a child and place all warm clothing OVER the child once secured. Bulky items make it difficult to tighten the harness correctly and hinder it from becoming snug around your baby. This may result in the child being ejected from the restraint during a sudden stop or crash.
The photo above shows Prince George with a blanket wrapped under his harness. This is a good example of what not to do. This is not intended to criticise his parents, rather help educate. This photo is everywhere in the media and is a great message for car seat safety.
Photo Credit unknown.
4. Not using your booster seat every time!
Some journeys may seem so short that you see no point in using the booster seat at all. Just remember, as extra careful you may be in this short ride, someone else might not be! Use your booster every time!
5. Letting the ‘big’ kids sit in the front too early!
Apart from the obvious of the back seat just being safer - the majority of vehicles these days are installed with airbags. Airbags are designed to protect adults weighing in at about 75 kgs. given the power of an inflating airbag - these are more likely to cause serious injury or even potentially suffocate a child.
TIP: To keep them in the back, treat them as VIPs. The next time they want the front seat, let them know you would much rather be their chauffeur on the way to ‘a big event’!
Please do note, for further information and tips on Car Seat Safety, visit http://safercarseats.org/ - Helping Parents Unlock the World of Car Seats!