Car Seats: Does Your Child Need One?
This is a guest post by Yashar about child car seats.
As soon as your baby arrives, you have a lot of safety concerns – the safest type of food, the safest crib and mattress, and the safest car seat. Car seats are mandatory, no matter their child’s age, up until 8 years old. This will help you keep the baby safe during all your car trips together, and it can save their lives in some of the most critical situations. The best car seat is the one that fits your baby’s size. But, there are other factors you should also pay attention to when choosing a baby car seat.
Important Car Seat Safety Information
Baby car seats and boost safety when installed correctly
Seatbelts save thousands of lives yearly. But since your baby is unable to enjoy the same safety levels when using a regular seatbelt, choosing proper car seats, depending on their age is just as important.
Besides finding a sturdy and suitable car seat for their babies, parents also have to ensure the product is installed correctly. According to Safe Kids, 1/3 of baby car seats are improperly installed all over the world. Simply put, parents install car seats too loosely, reducing the effectiveness in case of a car crash or sudden stop. In such cases, seatbelts or car seats can reduce the chances of death by 50%. It’s no wonder that choosing the right car seat eats up so much time.
Children car seats come in different models
Now, that you know how important having a car seat for your child is, let’s look at the options. The process of choosing a suitable one might be a tad complicated in the beginning. The type of car seat you should choose for your child depends on their age and sizes.
Infants have soft bone structure, so their needs are different than those of older children. Besides paying attention to choosing a car seat that actually accommodates your child’s size, you must pay attention to the following.
Baby cat seats – Choosing safe and suitable products
A baby car seat will make itself useful since your baby is born, up until their first birthday. Depending on their height, you might have to adapt the timeframe. Some children grow faster, others slower, and this depends from case to case.
The rule of thumb here is to install the car seat in a rear-facing position. To install the baby seat securely, use the car seatbelts or special ISOfix belts. If you fix the car seat correctly, both solutions are just as safe.
Switching from baby car seats to toddler versions depends entirely on you, your baby, and how fast they grow. As you can see at hmhb, specialists recommend using the baby car seat for as long as possible. These products offer incredible side protection, and you want to enjoy it for longer.
But if your child grows faster than the average baby, you want to switch to toddler versions sooner. The safest way to tell when you should change car seats is when your baby meets the minimum size requirements for toddler seats.
Toddler car seats – What to search for
If your child is a fast grower, you can start using a toddler car seat since their 6-month mark, until their fourth birthday. If you switch sooner to toddler car seats, you should keep it rear-facing until 15 months. Children are still fragile and have flexible bones until then, and in the event of a car crash or sudden stop, their bones are more likely to suffer if you flip the car seat too soon. However, many specialists in car safety recommend keeping toddlers facing the rear until 4 years of age.
Most car seats for this age group can be installed to face both parts of the car. When your child grows a little and they can use safely booster car seats, you should switch to one as soon as possible. Assessing the conditions below will help you make a better decision.
- Your child is already four.
- They have reached the minimum weight and height requirements – 100 cm and 15kg.
- Your child is quiet and patient enough to sit still in high booster car seats.
Child car seats – Follow the advice below
For children over 4, the best solution to ensure high safety levels is by using a booster seat. You can use such car seats until your child reaches 12 years in age. According to safety specialists, high back booster seats are better than other options because they offer side-impact protection. You can use a booster seat until your child reaches 36 kg or 150 cm in height. After that point, you can freely place them in regular seats, but ensure they always wear the seatbelt on.
Safety tips for driving with children
Driving safely is the most important tip we can offer to parents who frequently take their kids with them when driving. Prevention is, indeed, the best medicine.
We already established that you need a car seat that fits your child’s age and their size, but how your children behave in around cars is also important to keep them safe. To prevent accidents, ensure you never leave children unsupervised in and around cars.
Avoid sending and texting messages when driving, especially if children are present in the vehicle. Texting and driving are two of the most frequent causes of car accidents, and while a car seat will prevent your child from being severely injured, the mental trauma and shock will remain.
Ensure you install the car seat gear correctly. Use all the straps and belts recommended by the manufacturer and ensure you never store items in the cargo space where it might reach the car seat. In case of an impact, this will project items over your children.
Car seats are one of the most important preventive measures parents can take to keep their babies safe and sound when driving together. As children age and outgrow their car gear, consider donating the old items to local charities. If you plan on having other babies in the future, you can keep and reuse them.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.