If you have any type of connection to children at all you should at least know the basics of car seat safety. Being able to know how to properly restrain a child so they are safe and be able to show others how can help lessen the amount of car related injuries or even death. Listed below are some of the basics but check out Safe Kids Worldwide for even more information or enroll in a Car Seat Safety Course here!
- Make sure to have a car seat that the child can properly fit in. Whether a parent starts with an infant seat or a convertible car seat, you want to make sure the child is with in the height and weight ranges of the seat. Also be sure the seat can fit and be installed properly in the car it will be riding in.
- Keep the child rear facing for as long as possible. Have the child stay in a rear facing car seat until he or she maxes our the height or weight limit. Bent legs are ok! The longer they are rear facing the more time the child’s bones have to develop and become ready for a forward facing seat.
- While rear facing, the car seat straps should be at or below the shoulders. While forward facing the straps should be at or above shoulders.
- Chest clip should be nipple line or a little above.
- Make sure to tighten straps enough where you can’t pinch the straps on the top of the shoulder.
- Always make sure the child is properly restrained in the car seat. It doesn’t matter how quick of a drive it is or how safe of a driver you are. Accidents happen all the time and usually within a mile from home.
- Have a CPST (Child Passenger Safety Technician) help you or the parents properly install the car seat and learn how to do it yourself! You can find local ones here.
Remember that car seat safety is nothing to mess around with. Nothing should trump a child being properly restrained in a car seat. Make sure to learn more about the best seats for forward facing and when to move a child to a booster. It is usually later than you think!