Car seat safety is one of the most overlooked aspects of parenting. There are so many areas of concern and late nights of research, but when it comes to keeping your little one safe in the car, it gets ignored or lightly researched. Unfortunately, car accidents occur every 60 seconds. Of course getting into a car accident is not something you always think about and quite honestly, you might think that it won’t happen to you. But with that in mind, when you have your child in the car with you, they should always be your main concern. It is also important to consider safety when buying a car and find something with the most up-to-date safety tech installed. However, a good start is with a car seat that will carry your child from point A to point B safely.
Just like with everything else, there are multiple options to consider when it comes to buying a car seat. Below you will find a few tips on purchasing the right car seat for your child and what to be aware of.
Tested and Approved
This is vital. Buying a car seat off of craigslist or Facebook Marketplace will not ensure the car seat has been through tests and certifications. Plus, once a car seat has been involved in a major car accident, it must be disposed. It’s best to go through a company that has background experience and certs such as Foryourlittleone. You can’t afford to take any risks here, so make sure you buy the car seat from somebody that knows what they’re doing. It’s always best to spend a little extra for the safety of your child.
Age Appropriate Seat
Ask yourself what your child will need in a car seat. If they are still little, you will only need to buy an infant car seat. When the time comes to move them into a toddler car seat, make sure you know how long they can stay in an infant one before buying the right size for their age. If the car seat is not the correct size, it will not give your child the protection they need. Also don’t feel the need to move up so quickly and follow the recommended weight requirements before moving up. The rule we have established in my household is under 4 the child remains rear facing. By that point the child meets all the weight requirements and the neck strength needed to sit upright without support.
Consider An Adjustable Seat
If you don’t want to keep replacing the car seat, consider an adjustable one. These car seats will accommodate the size of your child as they grow. That means you only need to buy one seat and won’t have to keep buying new ones as your child gets bigger. Just make sure you know how to adjust it properly so it is always the perfect fit. And once again, don’t rush moving from rear facing to forward facing. The hip and neck muscles are not strong enough to support your child until a certain weight/height has been met.
Don’t Ignore Use-By Dates
Car seats have use-by dates for a reason, but a lot of people ignore them. It’s assumed that they don’t really mean anything because a car seat can’t go bad, can it? Actually, yes it can. Over time, the parts wear down and the seat is not as stable as it once was. The technology used in car seats is always advancing too, so if you are using an old one, it won’t be anywhere near as safe as the newest options on the market. Always respect the use-by date and be very careful about buying a second-hand one.
Safety is something that should not be bargained. Losing a child because of neglect of proper car seat safety is unfortunate and can be prevented.