Car seats are probably one of the most important pieces of equipment that a new parent will find themselves investing in. The market is saturated with all kinds of infant seats, each claiming to be the safest for your little one. But did you know that the ultimate safety measure is actually in the install and use of your car seat–and that many parents are doing it wrong?
Here’s a few things to remember and know when you find yourself shopping for an infant car seat by Storage Unit Rock Springs WY.
All car seats pass the same safety test–and it’s pass or fail
- Car seat makers will want to convince you that their car seat is THE safest, but the truth is that all car seats on the market pass the same safety tests, and there isn’t a rating for better safety over another seat.
- The difference in price is usually because some infant seats offer more conveniences than other seats–for example, the harness may not have to be rethreaded for growth, it’s lighter, or the materials have special properties.
- THE MOST IMPORTANT safety factor in using an infant car seat is making sure you have it installed properly and are buckling in your child properly.
- You must read the car seat owner’s manual thoroughly, and your car’s manual, to find out the best way to install this car seat in your car. Every car seat is different and every car is different–just because you’ve installed a car seat before, it doesn’t mean that it will need to be the same way in a different car or with a different seat.
- While there are many helpful public servants who offer to install your car seat for you, you must also read the manuals for your seat and car to make sure they have done it correctly–once again, every seat is different, and just because someone claims to know how to do it safely, chances are they aren’t familiar with each seat and each car enough to know exactly how it should be done.
Do not use other brand’s products on your infant car seat
- The car seat you purchase has passed safety tests based on the accessories available within that brand. Therefore, the strap pads that come with the car seat are safe to use, but off-brand, fluffy strap pads have not been tested with you car seat and therefore are not safe to use.
- Do not use blankets under your child, in between the back of the car seat and the back of their body, or over your child, under the straps.. If the weather is cold, buckle them in first (in normal clothes) and tuck a blanket around them over the buckles.
Make sure your child is buckled in properly
- Reading the car seat manual will answer a lot of these questions, but here are a few basic reminders.
- Always use an infant car seat rear-facing, and do not use it after the child has outgrown the weight or height requirements.
- Do not buy a car seat second-hand–if the seat has been in an accident, it is no longer safe to use. It’s not worth it to save a few hundred dollars while risking your baby’s safety–most other baby products can be bought second-hand, but a car seat needs to be new.
- Tighten the straps until you can’t pinch the strap between your fingers. If there’s enough slack for a pinch, it’s too loose.
- Do not buckle your child in while wearing a heavy coat. If you have to loosen the straps to buckle your child in because of a coat he or she is wearing, then you need to remove the coat. That extra space occupied by the material will not perform the same in an accident as your child’s actual body would.
- Make sure the chest clip is on their chest and not their stomach. The chest has bones that protect your child’s body in an accident, while the stomach does not. It’s called a “chest clip” because it goes across the chest, right over their heart.
- The straps cannot be twisted. Twisted straps will not keep your child safe in the same way untwisted, tightened straps will.
Be careful of projectiles
- In an accident, anything that is loose or not securely bolted to the car can become a projectile that can cause more injury than the accident itself. It’s a good idea to limit the toys, bottles, mirrors, and loose objects in your car while driving.
Properly installed and used car seats can literally save your child’s life
- There have been many incredible stories of cars crushed beyond recognition, but with a baby who was properly buckled in a properly installed car seat, left without a scratch.
- The more expensive car seats won’t save your child’s life any better than the less expensive ones–the most important thing is the proper install and use of the infant car seat.
This may seem like too much hype, but car seat use is one of the most important things to educate yourself about before your little one comes. Many moms of multiple children have found that they used their car seats wrong for years, and are thankful for the education that is being done regarding car seats and their use. For more helpful information, check out the Facebook group “Cars Seats for the Littles”, or the blog www.thecarseatlady.com.
At Self Assured Storage, we don’t just care about the safety of your possessions, we care about keeping your family organized, happy, and safe. When needing to clear out some valuables for baby-proofing, or preparing for your next big move, we are here to help the process go as smoothly as possible. Give us a call today to let us take care of all the extra things cluttering your life, so you can get back to the more important things!