Saturday, September 17, 2011

Five Simple Steps to Carseat Safety (Forwardfacing Version)

Carseat safety can seem daunting. Confusing. Intimidating. Overwhelming. And annoying. After you've correctly installed your child's seat, here are the 5 basic things to follow for proper forwardfacing before getting behind the wheel. Make them a habit and it will take 15 seconds to buckle in your child:

1) Make sure the harness straps are AT or ABOVE the shoulders and the chest clip is ON the chest.

Straps below the shoulders while facing forward increase the forces on the spine in a collision!

2) Make sure the straps or belts are buckled without twists/folds and are snug. 

The chest clip is a little high here. Follow the steps each time to catch little details like this.
3) For belt-positioning boosters, it is absolutely essential to make sure the lap belt is NOT on the tummy and that the shoulder belt rests in the middle of the shoulder, not on the neck or falling off the arm.
Remember: each seat and each child is different. Try before you buy. Fit does not depend on brand or price.

4) Make sure no extra products are being used in or on the seat and no thick clothing is between the child and the seat. Watch this video about winter safety.

Aftermarket products change the way carseats work in a collision. Thick clothing can make a harness or belt loose!

5) Make sure all hard or sharp projectiles are secured. Read this article about how a sippy cup severely injured a boy in a collision.

This is all the crazy sounding carseat safety stuff condensed into 5 simple steps. Memorize them and make them habitual. It will not be annoying or time consuming after you make it a routine. :)

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