After all, of course, you’d do much to keep your kids safe, including fastening them into a car seat every time you get in the car. However, for many families, this is insufficient. According to recent research from the Ad Council and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), probably half of all car seats are used or placed incorrectly, which could help to explain why automobile accidents are one of the leading causes of mortality for children aged 1 to 13. The other major one being drowning in impure water like pools or bathtubs due to inadequate use of quality bulk filter media.
According to the NHTSA study, child-safety seats can reduce the risk of death by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for 1- to 4-year-olds when used correctly. We’ll go over 10 harmful car seat mistakes and how to avoid them in this article.
1. Wrong Car Seat
Whether you’re keeping your newborn in an outgrown infant seat or transitioning your toddler to a booster seat, it’s critical to utilize the best custom baby car seat that not only suits their height and weight but also their age. When children reach the height or weight limits of a car seat, they have outgrown it.
2. Forgetting To Register The Car Seat
The tiny registration card which comes with each and every new car seat is easy to overlook, but it’s a crucial tool in keeping your child safe. If you register your car seat, the manufacturer will notify you if there is a recall. If you’ve misplaced the registration card — or aren’t sure if you registered the seat — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a tool that offers the online registration link on every car-seat manufacturer.
3. Installing The Car Seat Incorrectly
Among the most typical installation faults made by parents is loose installation. When you provide the seat a good tug, it shouldn’t budge more than one-inch front, backward, or to each side, even if you’re using the LATCH anchors or the vehicle seat belt. Other mistakes include securing the seat with both the LATCH systems bottom anchors and the seatbelts, utilizing the forward-facing belt track for the rear-facing position and vice versa, and neglecting to lock the seatbelts (for cars made before 1997). To avoid any mistakes, read both the car-seat manual as well as the automobile manual thoroughly.
4. Not Using The Car Seat’s Top Tether
As per Safe Kids Worldwide, around 64 percent of front-facing car seats featuring harnesses do not have the top tether attached. This is a critical worry since, in the event of an accident, the tether considerably limits the car seats forward motion – and the childs risk of heat damage. Other car-seat misuses, such as poor installation or loose harnessing, may be mitigated by using the tether, according to research from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
5. Car Seat Is Facing the Wrong Direction
When children are at least two years old, they must ride in rear-facing car seats, and parents must keep them in that position until they outgrow the car seats height as well as weight limits. In a collision, rear-facing car seats diffuse crash forces all across the car seats shell, giving better head and neck prevention than forward-facing seats.
Some parents worry that their children may be uncomfortable in a rear-facing seat as they get older, but kids are adaptable and that it will choose a posture, whether someone is crossing their legs or to rest legs on the seatback.
6. Installation Utilizing Both the Latch System and the Seat Belt
When it comes to local seats, many parents believe that more is better, thus they will use both the Latch system and the seat belt. Extra can be dangerous in this case: Car seats don’t seem to be crash-tested, including both seat belts and Latch systems in place, so it’s unclear how well they’ll perform in an accident. Use either the seat belt (make sure it’s fastened) or the Latch system to attach a car seat.
7. Leaving The Harness Straps Too Loose
During an accident, loose straps could cause your youngster to be flung from their seat. They should be snug enough that you can’t pinch any harness webbing (textile) at your childs shoulders with your fingers. You should also avoid putting your child in bulky clothing that would hinder you from properly adjusting the straps.
8. Chest Clip Positioned Too Low
The chest clip is a small piece of plastic on the car-seat harness that plays an important role in keeping the harness straps in place. The chest clip must be positioned at the childs armpit position. If it’s too high, it could hurt their neck, but if it’s too low, it could hurt their stomach.
9. Using A Hand-Me-Down Car Seat
Not only may a used seat have been in a collision that jeopardized its safety, but vehicle seats are only good for roughly six years after they were manufactured since they decay over time and technology advances. You’re better off purchasing a new seat to verify that it meets current safety regulations. It is similar to the case of buying a used home safe. You’ll never buy second hand jewelry or gun safe due to safety issues. Only the most reliable home safe manufacturer will satisfy your purchase so why act irresponsible in case of your most precious thing?
10. Using Accessories From Another Car Seat Brand
We never use a product from a different brand and its accessories from some other brand, right? Use only covers as well as cushions that have been crash-tested and certified by the manufacturer with your car seat. Any cushioning between your child and the seat or the harness straps that are not allowed could jeopardize their safety in the event of an accident.