Safety Standards for Car Seats

Nowadays one can never be too careful when it comes to their child’s safety. All the new studies and tests that have come out have changed the way people look at safety. That is why people are very serious when it comes to safety in the car.

 Each year, thousands of children are seriously injured or killed due to a car accident. Installing a car seat safely, properly, and securely can be the first step to bringing down these numbers.

Picking a car seat is an important factor as well. The appropriate way to find one is by your child’s needs; go by weight and height, rather than age. The safest way to install a car seat is to place it rear-facing for the first year of your baby’s life or until at least 20 pounds, though it is strongly recommended to keep it rear-facing for up to two years.

When it comes to safely installing a car seat, your local Sheriff’s office may or may not have car seat installation days, when they show parents how to properly install a car seat.  They may sometimes even help struggling parents to get a new car seat, if they do not have one or if they have one that is expired and need to trade in for a new one.

 If you have a newer car, there are latches in the crease of the seat where you can latch the car seat right into place with metal clips that come attached to the baby’s device. These are safer than seatbelts, and highly recommended.  If you have an infant-only car seat, you may need to use a seat belt, but it is safest to pull the belt over the car seat and buckle it in. Keep in mind that you need to make sure the shoulder strap is out, and lock the seatbelt once it is buckled. The convertible seats can be used as rear-facing seats as well, and usually come with the metal clips.

The safest place in your car for a car seat is the middle seat in the back, unless there is a cup holder or armrest that pulls down from the seat in the middle, if so, then putting the seat on the passenger side is a better choice, being that if in a crash, the armrest could crush your child’s legs.

Once the seat is properly installed, you must make sure that the seatbelt is not too loose; it should be very snug on your child. The seat in front of the car seat should not be holding the seat in place, as many folks seem to think, but it should instead, be pulled up, leaving the seat room to wobble around, car seats are made to have some space to move around.

Once you have all these tips down, your child should be very safe, but remember that there’s always room for more safety. You should always use a car seat for your child, as it could save their life. For more information on car seat safety, visit www.AAP.org .