7 Car Seat Safety Checks

This is a sponsored post.

Car seat safety is incredibly important. When I was pregnant with my first baby I was fortunate enough to learn a lot about car seat safety in our ante-natal classes and from the experienced staff where we bought our car seat.

Recently, however, I have discovered that I had taken these sources of information for granted and assumed all expectant parents were given the same information but some don’t attend ante-natal classes, some classes don’t cover car seat safety in detail and some people get their car seats second-hand or inherit them.

So here are some of the most important tips/safety checks I have learned over the years:

  1. The car seat handle of baby’s first car seat must be clicked into the ‘carry’ position when in the car. Do not push the handle back. This is because in the ‘carry’ position it is clicked into place and all safety tests are carried out on the seat with the handle in this position.
  2. Isofix and seat-belted seats are just as safe as each other but this is assuming the seat belted seat is installed 100% correctly. Isofix allows for less user error so can therefore be safer in this respect. Isofix is termed the Latch system in the States. You can find out more about the latch system at cars.com.
  3. Do not dress your baby in big bulk jackets or clothes when putting them in the car seat. Bulky coats can leave the harness too loose to be effective in an accident and can put your baby in real danger. Instead look into car seat footmuffs or blankets to keep your baby warm in their seat.
  4. Tighten the harness. It may be tempting to allow your child some extra wriggle room for comfort but it’s not safe. The harness should be tight enough that only two fingers can fit between the top of your child’s shoulders and the harness but you should not be able to rotate your fingers in that position.
  5. Rearward face for as long as you can. It’s a much safer option – especially for younger children. Just google the injuries a child is at risk of in the case of an accident in a forward facing seat and you won’t be long choosing a car seat for extended rearward-facing.
  6. Do not use a rearward-facing car seat in the front seat if there is an active air bag. This is very dangerous. Ensure the air bag is turned off or else put the car seat in the back.
  7. Do not leave your baby unattended/unsupervised in their car seat. This is especially relevant for young babies but even older children shouldn’t be left in their seats without supervision for long periods of time.

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