When it comes to car seat safety, I feel as though many parents don’t take it as seriously as they should be. They just assume that having their child in a car seat guarantees they’ll be fine. Unfortunately, no. You need to make sure everything is done exactly right or you could end up losing your child if you were to get in a bad accident.
That’s something no parent wants to imagine, but it happens. So please, stay with me here. I have a list of common mistakes that none of us should be making. I hope that by providing them for you today, you can keep that sweet baby in your arms longer than many parents have been able to.
Neglecting to remove a child’s winter jacket
Seriously, this is one of the biggest one that exists. It is so very important that you take your child’s jacket off before buckling them in. I know it’s cold and inconvenient, but it isn’t worth risking that baby’s life. You can always purchase a very thick blanket to leave in the car and drape it over them once they’re buckled in. But please, don’t leave that jacket on when you buckle them in.
By having a jacket on while buckled into the seat, it creates space between the child and the straps. This is a huge safety hazard since it will case the child to lunge forward if you were to get into an accident. I think we all know that is not good, especially when you also factor in the speed you’ll be going when this happens.
We all want our children to come out of an accident with as little injury as possible. So please, do them a favor and take that coat off before you strap them in. Please.
Turning the child around too soon
This one is also very common. I’m unfortunately very guilty of doing it with my own child. The child grows, his legs get long, and so you turn the seat around. Stop right there! While it may look like it’s time, it may not be. Check the height and weight requirements, if they exceed them both, go right ahead and turn it around! But if they only meet one requirement and they’re under the age of two, it’s a no go.
A child needs to meet two of the three requirements: height, weight, and age.
The reason for this being that it takes at least 2 years for a child’s vertebrae to properly develop. But if they haven’t met the height and weight requirements, they may still need some time. If you turn them around and get into a car accident that can cause whiplash, it will kill the child on impact if they are facing forward.
So please, don’t turn them around too early!
Placing the car seat on top of a shopping cart
Okay, another one I was once guilty of. But it’s one I quickly stopped doing. While the bottom may lock onto the top of the shopping cart, it is not safe by any means. I mean, what if you turn around to grab something off a shelf and someone knocks your cart over? That is an impact that is not good for any child.
The car seat also makes the cart top heavy and so it’s much easier to knock over. When the child goes through this, they can suffer skull injuries or even worse. So keep them safe and put them in the cart itself, not on top.
Neglecting to get them checked by a professional
Before you even use the seat when the child is born, you should have it checked by someone who knows what they’re doing. Many hospitals and fire stations offer free checks during different days throughout the month. Check your local area and see when you can have yours checked.
Even if you’ve had children before or know how to install one, it’s best to have them checked by a professional. You may have done one small thing wrong and that one small thing could cost their little precious life.
Using a expired, recalled, or post-accident seat
This is never a good idea. Not ever. If it’s expired or re-called, it’s definitely not up to safety standard. If you keep using the same seat after you are in an accident, that’s absolutely dangerous. Using a seat in any of these conditions is incredibly dangerous. There’s a reason for expiration dates, recalls, and just using a car seat after an accident isn’t good at all!
Be smart and be safe! Get your child a quality seat.
Are you making these common mistakes?
What other ones do you think are being made?
About Amber Kristine
Amber Kristine is a mother of a 2 year old. She blogs at amberkristine.com covering topics about raising your kids, running your home, taking care of yourself, loving others, and helping others around you. She hopes to help others and inspire them.