Child Car seat safety:
Congratulations! You have yourself a mini me! Now you have the pleasure of figuring out your child’s car seat for the next 80 pounds or so. Fun times. With all the changing laws, recommendations, and car seats, this can be a confusing and stressful time. You want to keep your precious one safe, but you would like for ‘them’ to hurry up and decide the right way to do that. As AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) just changed the rear facing car seat recommendations to rear facing until 4yrs, it doesn’t look like they’ll get it together anytime soon. There is a way to help keep your sanity though, whenever you hear the recommendations have changed look at NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website, it is THE guideline. (they have not changed their recommendation of three years old)
Car seats have grown in safety and complexity from the salad days of the burlap sack, to the first actual car seats designed for safety in the 1960s, to the complex seats we have today. Today child car seats are serious business. It took a long time for the attitude of, ‘well I survived without one’ to go away. Car seats now come with expiration dates and weight limits. There are many things to think about when buying a car seat:
- Safety rating of the car seat?
- Expiration dates?
- Rear facing, front facing, booster seats (this is all dependant on age, weight and height) or an all in one seat
- Your states laws
- Read your car manual to see the recommend placement for your child’s car seat
- Has there a been a recall on the model your looking at?
- What kind of space do you have in your car?
- What is the fabric of the car seat? (Easy clean up, this is a little more for you.)
Thankfully there are now technicians that can install or check on your car seat installation to make sure your child is safe and you’re within the law requirements because Yikes! So if you feel like you’re in over your head, here are a few steps you could take:
· Call you local police station, city hall, or hospital. These institutions will direct you to certified child safety seat technician.
· You could also use your ability to Google and find out the nearest technician near you!
· There is an app out there called SaferCar. The app informs you about recalls, where to locate a technician, and help for installing car seats.
· Check the NHTSA website to make sure you are getting the most up to date legal information.