I am truly not one to push my thoughts on major parenting topics, although I might share what I am thinking or have done in certain circumstances, but what others may or may not do is not my concern or business.
Yet there are certain times where a new parent or even a parent at a new stage may inquire what I have done or what should be done.
Take for instance car seats. This is a huge topic and I see photos splayed all over Facebook, when someone goes against the suggested recommendations here. You may here those against it vilifying those who don’t keep their kids rear facing until a certain age and yet others saying that back in the day the didn’t even sit in a carseat at a certain age.
The reality is that in 2014 there are definitely recommendations as to how babies, toddlers and even kids are protected when traveling in a car and car seat rules.
I am in no way, shape or form opening up a debate here about these, but just trying to share and educate those who may not know or want to find out more about this.
And yet the fact remains that car accidents are the leading cause of death among children worldwide. Statistics show that over 150,000 children get injured each year, and more than a thousand of them die on the road. To ensure your child’s safety, it is important to use a car seat wherein they will be properly restrained at all times. Another thing parents need to keep in mind when shopping for a car seat is to ensure they buy the right one for their children’s age group.
So what are the latest recommendations?
Children under one year should always be placed in a rear-facing car seat. These types of seats are lighter in weight and easier to carry compared to the car seats for older children. They have a weight limit of between 22 to 35 pounds. If your child outgrows the infant-only car seat but is still under one year of age, it is recommended to move the baby to a convertible or 3-in-1 car seat, but still place it in a rear-facing position. This is because for kids who are that young, facing the rear is five times safer – or they are 75% less likely to be killed or suffer from a crash-related injury.Infant Car Seat
Rear-facing car seats are still recommended for children that are younger than four years old. Always make sure that the shoulder straps and harnesses have been adjusted perfectly to fit your child. They should be snug, with no fold in the material once you have buckled in your baby. The straps should not sag or twist and the chest clip should be positioned around the child’s armpit level.
3. Preschoolers ~
Children that are four years old or older should use a forward-facing car seat. A great tip to know if your child is getting too big for a rear-facing seat is to observe if your child’s head is reaching close to the top of the seat. There should be at least an inch between the top of your child’s head and the edge of their seat, so if they are getting taller than that, it is time to switch to a forward-facing seat.
Forward-facing car seats have harnesses and a top tether to help limit the forward movement of your child when a crash occurs. Once they have outgrown the forward-facing seat with a harness, it is the time to put them in a booster seat until they are old enough to properly fit in an adult seat belt. Remember that the harness and belts should fit snug perfectly across your child’s thighs, stomach and shoulders.
Some brands such as Dorel and Britax include award-winning car seats that have been recognized by various parent groups to be some of the safest on the market. After choosing the best manufacturer, you should then ensure that the installation of the car seat is done properly.
Once this is done, you can be confident that you’ve done everything you can to keep your child safe in their car seat while on the road.
Trust me I have been at all three stages now with my kids and can honestly say, this one might be a hot spot, but still the only true way to protect your child is to know the recommendations here and do your research as best as you can.
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