As a new mom, many years ago, I really had no clue about all of the details of car seat safety. I just thought you strap your kid in, make sure the straps are on the shoulders, buckled in, and lets go. That is SO not the case, but I didn’t learn that all until another mommy let me in on car seat safety and how to keep my kids properly restrained. Unfortunately, some moms will call other moms sanctimommies and other harsh names just for trying to educate others. In fact, I actually was sent a screenshot with a past blog post and a picture of my child in a car seat on it where over 100 moms were making fun of me AND my child. All because I was providing pictures and help to educate new moms (like I once was) on how to keep their kids safer.
It’s a shame that there are moms out there like this. I fully believe in lifting others up as well as the “it takes a village” mentality. I would never talk down to another mom to inform them or educate them about car seat safety. I tell moms because I care about their babies. I care about the moms. I want to help others, even dads and other caregivers, I don’t want to leave them out either! Once we know better, we do better. Right? Let’s jump right in to what this post is actually about!
Car Seat Safety Tips
1 – Find a car seat that fits your child well. Whether that is rear facing, forward facing, or a booster.
2 – When using a harness, the straps should NEVER be twisted.
3 – When using a harness, the straps must ALWAYS be tight, snug as a hug, with no extra slack.
4 – When rear facing, straps must be AT or BELOW the shoulder for it to fit properly.
5 – When forward facing, straps must be AT or ABOVE the shoulder for it to fit properly.
6 – A chest clip must ALWAYS be at nipple/armpit level. It is a chest clip, NOT a belly clip.
7 – Do NOT allow your child to wear puffy jackets in their car seat, this will compress in the event of an accident, and your child could fly out of their seat. (We will be elaborating on that in this post, so read on below!)
8 – A car seat MUST be installed correctly for it to keep your child safe. Install it using LATCH or a seatbelt, but not both. The car seat should NEVER be able to move more than an inch side to side. If forward facing, make sure you tether the car seat to an anchor point as well.
9 – Car seats DO expire, make sure you check your seat and know when you need to replace your seat. Most are good for 6 to 8 years depending on the manufacture. Car seats also need to be replaced after an accident, your insurance will cover it. If they give you a hard time, push them to cover it.
10 – State laws are the minimum of what’s required for your child, please do the maximum for your child. They only have one life and it’s your job to keep them safe.
No Bulky Winter Coats or Jackets
Your child should never ever have on a bulky winter coat/jacket/clothing while buckled in a car seat.
I know what you’re thinking, my baby will freeze, or that’s not right to treat my child that way, etc etc. There are many ways around it, to keep your child safe AND warm, that’s why I’m here to help!
I did a little comparison here to show you why, so keep on reading!
As you can see in the first image, my daughter has on a bulky Winter coat over her clothing in her car seat, and you can see her straps are nice and snug with the chest clip at armpit level, just like it should be. So what’s wrong?
What’s wrong is this – In the event of an accident, that bulky jacket/coat/clothing will compress which will make extra slack in the car seat straps and your child could very possibly be ejected from their seat. That’s very scary, and something that can easily be avoided. We want to protect our children!
Now in these images, the big bulky coat was removed, and the straps were not moved/tightened/loosened. My daughter is actually wearing a fleece pullover jacket instead.
Just look at how the straps are hanging, the chest clip is hanging and how much room there is in there, which your child has enough room to quite possibly fly out of in the event of an accident. This can all be avoidable, very easily!! Refer to the tips up top on keeping your child’s straps snug as a hug, chest clip at armpit level, etc. Please do not place a bulky coat/jacket/clothing on your baby/toddler/child in their car seats.
Tips for Winter Car Seat Safety
1 – When it’s cold outside, go ahead out and start your vehicle about 5-10 minutes before you leave if you’re able to, that way it’s warm inside my vehicle and you won’t have to worry about your kiddos being cold. Obviously this is illegal in some places, also some might not be able to do this due to safety. Please only do this at your own discretion.
2 – Put your children in thin fleece jackets over top of their clothing.
3 – Have them always keep a blanket in the car next to their car seat to place over them.
4 – After strapping your child into their car seat, put their Winter coat on backwards over top of your child.
Now you can place a blanket over top of your child, or even a heavy/bulky jacket on over top of the harness to keep them warm!
I really hope you take information from this informative post and share it with your friends and family, you never know, you may save a life. Feel free to pin on Pinterest, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Also, please if you have ANY questions at all please feel free to ask, comment below, or you can even send me an email at EverythingMommyhood@gmail.com!