Studies from the CDC report that motor vehicle crashes are among the leading causes of death in children. Children not being buckled properly account for 33% of all deaths from crashes. This staggering statistic is exactly why we have created this useful car seat safety check guide.
This simple guide will help you understand the steps you need to take to ensure that your child is safely buckled up before you hit the road. Let’s get started!
Height of the Harness
There are two primary types of car seats: Rear-facing and Front-facing. For a Rear-facing car seat, the harness should be put into the harness slots at or below the child’s shoulder line. In a Front-facing car seat, the harness should be put into the harness slots at or right above the child’s shoulder line. This will help keep your child secure and prevent injury in the event of a crash.
You will be able to adjust the harness to varying levels of tightness on the car seat. With that being said, you must maintain the correct level of tightness to avoid discomfort or injury. To achieve the right fit, you should never buckle your baby in the car seat while they are wearing bulky clothing such as winter coats or jackets. Taking the bulking clothing off and then covering the child once they are secure is the safest option for travel.
When the baby in the seat, the harness should be flat against their chest with no knots or kinks in the harness. Then tighten accordingly until it is snug against their chest. The chest clip should always stay at the child’s armpit level.
At the base of the car seat, there is a buckle. In many cases, there will be a gap between the buckle and the crotch area of the child, especially in newborns.
Placing a small rolled blanket in the area can help fill the gap. It is important to make sure that you follow the manufacture’s instructions for positioning the car seat to ensure your child’s safety.
Moving to a Front-Facing Car Seat
Many modern car seats are making it possible for parents to keep their children Rear-facing for longer. It is important never to switch your child to a Front-facing car seat too soon.
Only when your child reaches the appropriate height and weight should they be moved to a Front-facing seat. Be sure that you follow the manufacture’s guidelines when you make the change from the Rear-facing car seat.
Car Seat Safety Check Guide
These points are the essentials of any car seat safety check. If you take the time to follow this guide you can be sure that your child is safe and secure while you hit the road!
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