In this article, we are going to know about the car seat safety guidelines and tips. As parents, it is very important to protect your children in the car. You must use a car seat. It will protect your kids when your car crashes.
So, before buying a car seat, at first you should research for the best car seat. If you don’t want to research, you can check out our posts. After few month spend on researching then we have written these reviews and guidelines.
Car seat safety guidelines
These days Americans drive nearly twice as many miles as they did in 1980. Since so much time is spent in vehicles, the reality is that even the most careful driver will probably be involved in a collision at least once in their life. Making sure your child is safely secured every time they ride in a car is the best prevention for injuries or death.
California law requires children to be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat, and in the backs of the vehicle until they are 8 years old or 49 tall. The unfortunate thing is that many children involved in a car crash would not have been injured or killed if they would have been properly secured in a child safety seat.
We want to do the right thing for our children, but with so many vehicles on the market and hundreds of car seats available, choosing the right car seat and using it correctly can be complicated.
We immunize our children to decrease their risk of getting sick. In the same way, properly securing them in a car seat can decrease their chances of being injured if there’s a car crash.
Let’s start with infants and younger children who need special protection. They must ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat of the car until they’re at least two years old or until they outgrow the height and weight limits of their rear-facing convertible car seat.
Research shows that the risk of small children being killed or seriously injured is five times higher for those sitting in forward-facing seats than for those sitting in rear-facing seats.
Let’s talk about why child car seat safety is so important?
The most common type of car crash will happen at the front of the car. During this type of crash, everyone is thrown forward toward the front of the car.
If you are facing forward in a car seat or seat belt the harness or the belt will stop your upper body, but your head will continue moving forward until your chin hits your chest, then bounces backward in a whiplash motion.
The head of an infant or young child is much larger and heavier in proportion to his or her body than that of an adult. When a child is facing forward in a crash, their heavy head is thrown forward causing the neck to stretch.
The bones and nerves in a baby’s neck are delicate and if they are stretched too much they can break, leaving the baby paralyzed or worse.
When a baby or young child is riding in a rear-facing car seat, their head and neck are supported by the back of the car seat during the crash, reducing the risk for spinal cord injury.
Rear-facing seats are designed to spread the forces of a crash across the entire back of an infant and young child. It is the shell of the car seat itself that absorbs most of the force of the crash instead of the head, neck and spinal cord of the baby.
Car Seat Recommendation for children
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children remain in rear-facing convertible car seats as long as possible and until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
In a crash, all children are safer buckled in a rear-facing car seat as long as they are within the height and weight limit of the seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat with a frontal airbag. The force from an airbag deployed in a crash is enough to crush the car seat and cause serious injuries or death.
There are two types of rear-facing car seats: infant seats and convertible seats
Before buying any car seat you must research and read the car seat safety guidelines. It will help you to choose the right car seat for your kids.
1. Infant Car Seats: Infant car seats can only be used rear-facing and most models come with a detachable base. Many children will outgrow the length of this seat before age
2. Convertible Car Seats: Convertible car seats can be used either rear-facing or forward-facing. Most convertible seats have weight limits, from 5 pounds up to 35 to 40 pounds for the rear-facing mode.
Most likely, this will allow your child to remain rear-facing, possibly beyond 2 years of age. A rear-facing car seat must be reclined to the angle recommended by the manufacturer, which is usually not more than 45 degrees from vertical. If it’s leaning back too much, your baby may slide out between the straps.
If the seat is too upright, his/her head may flop forward, making breathing difficult. Most rear-facing car seats have angle indicators built into the seat, which will help you reach the proper angle. Some Infant-only car seats have an adjustable base that allows you to correct the angle.
If you cannot install your seat at the proper angle, you may need to put a tightly rolled towel or a piece of a swimming pool noodle under the car seat at the vehicle seat crack if permitted by the car seat manufacturer.
When your child is in a rear-facing seat you must use the harness strap openings that are at or below the top of the shoulders. This will allow the snug harness straps to hold the child down low in the car seat which will keep him or her from sliding up the back of the seat and being thrown out during a crash. Always make sure that the harness straps fit snugly against your child.
Once the harness is buckled, pull it tight; be sure to pull slack out of the hip area also. You should not add extra webbing to your shoulders. This is called the pinch test.
Position the chest clip so that the top of it is level with your child’s armpit. The clip holds the harness straps in the correct position on your child’s shoulders.
Remove any bulky blankets or clothing from under the straps to ensure the best fit and always place the crotch strap between the legs, never over a blanket or bundled legs. After the harness is stripped and secured, just place a blanket around the baby.
Unapproved padding placed behind or under the child or harnesses can compress in a crash and create slack in the harness. It is a common myth that when a child’s feet or legs reach the back of the vehicle seat, he or she is at an increased risk for a leg injury. Leg injuries are rare for children who ride rear-facing. Children can sit with their legs crossed or on the back of the seat.
So let’s go over the most important things to remember for infants and young children:
Always secure your child in the back seat.
- The car seat harness straps are at or below the top of the shoulders.
- They need to be flat and snug enough so you can’t pinch a fold in the strap at the shoulders.
- The chest clip is placed at armpit level.
- The car seat must be installed tightly into the vehicle and reclined at the proper angle according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an active airbag.