It’s a fact of life that those of us with kids must use an infant car seat when transporting our young children anywhere by car. One of the most disturbing statistics for new parents is that 84 percent of infant car seats are installed the wrong way. Even if you strap your child into the chair correctly, your cute little baby could be at risk whenever you’re on the road. Here are three ways to guarantee the safety of your child’s auto seat:
1. Make sure you have a new seat
Did you buy your children’s car seat used at a yard sale for ? Did your sister give it to you because her kids are grown now? Or did you buy the seat new? If you buy your seat used or get it from a relative, you run the risk of putting your child into a unit that might have been in an accident before, or might even be missing parts. Modern car seats must meet stringent Federal safety guidelines and crash performance standards. Plus, they have expiration dates of six to nine years from date of manufacture. So, check the label! Be wise. Always buy a new seat for your first child, and for any other children that come into your life for next six to seven years.
2. Make sure you install the seat in the right spot
The ideal place for an infant car seat is in the rear middle seat of your car. If you have more than one child and more than one chair, then any position in the back of your car is fine. The main point is that by installing the seat in the rear seat of the car, your child will be protected in the event of any head-on collisions. The center is best, but behind the passenger or driver is acceptable in multiple-child households.
3. Have a professional check it out
It doesn’t matter how faithfully you followed the installation instructions. It doesn’t matter if you pulled the straps tight and the seat doesn’t jiggle regardless of how much you try to move it. The best way to check if your seat was installed correctly is to have a safety professional check it out. Fortunately, a safety check only takes a few minutes and can be done in your local neighborhood. Simply visit any fire station or police station. As an alternative, you can look for other qualified safety professional in your area by going to http://www.seatcheck.org.
The best way to guarantee the safety of your child while traveling is to transport your little angel in a brand new infant car seat, installed in the rear of your car, and to have that installation checked by a professional. If you follow these guidelines you can rest assured that you have done all that you can to keep your child safe. Now, just be sure to drive defensively and stay aware of potentially dangerous driving situations!
Infant Car Seats: Three Ways to Guarantee Your Child’s Safety