One of the most important jobs you have as a mother is to keep your child safe, no matter where they are or where you are going. One of the best ways to do this is by investing in a car seat that will keep them safe when they are in the car – one of the most dangerous situations they are put in at such a young age.
No matter how safely you drive, there is always someone that will be a bad driver. No matter how much you try to take back roads or stay close to home, the truth is that most accidents happen near your home.
So how you can keep your child safe when he or she is in the car? Here are some car seat safety tips:
Always Use a Car Seat
The first tip is one that might be simplistic or might seem silly, but it is something that some people don’t realize that you actually need – and there are different sizes. When you look at your baby, you might think that he or she is very small or very large, but there are different types of car seats and different sizes that you might want to use. Make sure to always read the height and weight requirements of the seat.
Note that you don’t have to blow your entire budget when you choose a car seat, especially because you are going to need more than one. Budget infant safety seats are available on the market and they all meet the different safety standards that the more expensive ones do.
Your Child is Unique
Not all children will be comfortable or love every car seat on the market – and neither will all parents. Some seats are bigger than others, some seats will leave marks in your car, others just don’t have the convenience that people with a family need. There are so many possibilities that it is hard to imagine finding one car seat that will make every family possible – so it is a good thing that there are so many diverse options.
For instance, children over 40 pounds may need to use a booster seat if they are tall enough, but sometimes they might still need one with a back if you feel like they need that structure. Make sure to look over different reviews & comparisons of different car seats to see which ones you think will work best for you.
Make Sure Your Seatbelts Are Doing Their Work
As long as you have a car that was manufactured after 2005, you should have all of the required seat belts and attachments that will help you to keep your child safe. If you have an older car, you may have to do a bit more research to see which seats will work the best for you.
When you are installing the car seat, ensure that you put the belt through the correct slot and that it is falling correctly on your child or on the seat. This is particularly important with booster seats, because you don’t want to hurt your child if you do get into an accident. The seatbelt must always stay tight when you are driving, or they won’t actually provide that much protection.
Stay Rear Facing For As Long As You Can
A rear facing car seat is probably the safest car seat construction for your child. This is because it provides even more neck and head protection, even if it is the same seat. Even if you think your child might be uncomfortable, remember that they are quite bendy and they can face backwards with few problems.
Secondhand Is Not a Good Idea
Of course, we all like to save money where we can, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. However, you do not want to buy your car seat at a flea market or yard sale – and you especially don’t want to buy it off of Craigslist or another website. Even buying one from your friend isn’t a great idea because you don’t really know what happened to that car seat, whether or not there has been any damage, or even what germs may lurk in those soft fibers.
Create an Environment of Safety
Make sure that everyone who goes into your puts on a seat belt, sits properly, and behaves themselves. When you create this environment of safety, your children will follow suit whether they are a 16 months or 16 years. Create healthy habits in the car now so that you don’t have to try to teach them later.
From the day your child is born to the last time they he or she will ride in your car, you absolutely have to model the behavior that you want to see.
At the end of the day, no one knows about your children’s safety more than you do – but it will do you some good to ensure that you do some research about different safety seats. Almost any seat that is on the market today is safe and meets all of the standards that the government have.