09 Nov Common Car Seat Mistakes
Common Car Seat Mistakes
Car seats are about the safety and security of your infant child while they’re in the car with you. With all of the different car seats, loops, hooks, and specific ways the seat needs to be clipped in, it can be very easy to miss a step while installing the seat. To help you keep your new little one as safe as can be, here are some common car seat mistakes to watch out for:
The car seat is too loose in your car
One of the key issues we look at is if the car seat is snug and secure in your vehicle. You should not be able to move the safety seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when you pull at the belt path.
The harness is too loose on your child
Studies have also shown that one-third of the infants in car seats are not tightly fastened in their seats. The child’s seat may be correctly fastened but if the child is loose in the seat, they may eject out of the seat during impact.
There is a pinch test to see if you can grab a pinch of the seat belt between your fingers after you’ve fastened it. If you can, there is an excess seat belt and it needs to be tighter.
Your infant is facing forward too soon
Your child needs to only be put in a forward-facing position when they have crossed the 40 to 50 pound mark. If the child is put in a forward-facing position too soon, their neck and head may be at risk during a collision. Hence, it is vital that you keep the child rear-facing as long as possible.
Your rear-facing car seat is not at the right angle
The rear-facing seat position will absorb more of the impact in case of collision and less stress will be exerted on the infant. The rear-facing car seat not being at the right angle can also lead to a risk to the child’s neck and head. Read the instructions given with the car seat to make sure you have secured the seat safely in position. There are some car seats now that have a level on the base to help you see if it is in the correct position!
The harness chest clip is in the wrong spot
Babies have heavier heads and weaker necks, and the baby’s seat needs to allow for the neck to be rested so it can keep the head upright. The chest clip holding the straps in place needs to be at armpit level so there isn’t a lot of gap between the neck and the clip. The chest clip being too low may create a big gap and smaller kids may be thrown out of the car seat if the car is in a crash.
Taking an extra minute to make sure you go through all the safety checks in your head before driving may save your child’s life. If you want to learn more about car seat safety for your baby, we can help!