Is your car seat putting your child at risk?
Founder of Tot Squad and certified child safety technician, Jennifer Beall Saxton offers four tips for keeping kids safe in the car.
#1: Seat Protectors
You may be worried about the car seat damaging your vehicle and want to preserve the leather, but you need to be careful with vehicle seat protectors because they can interfere with the installation of the car seat. If the seat is too loose, your child could be hurt in an accident. If you must use a seat protector, you want to make you are getting one that is compatible with the brand of the car seat. The protector might say it is crash tested, but that doesn’t mean it is crash tested with your car seat.
#2: Dangling Toys
When using an accessory that attaches to the car seat, exercise caution because if that accessory has not been crash tested with the seat then it could invalidate the warranty, or even worse, harm your child. If you are in an accident, the car seat manufacturer is going to say they aren’t liable because they don’t know how the accessory impacted the functionality of your seat.
#3: Hard Toys and Objects
It’s really important to take precaution with hard toys that could become projectiles in an accident. For example, a two-pound iPad times 50 miles per hour means your child could get hit with 100 pounds of force! Similarly, make sure you are putting your cellphones in the glove compartment, and if you have an SUV, use the back cover for your purse so that all of your loose objects in the car are not flying forward in an accident. If you want to give your child a toy, try the “ouch test.” If you hit it against your head and it hurts at all, don’t use it in the car.
#4: Head Support
When you have a newborn baby, it’s tempting to buy an infant head support or “elephant ears” to prop your baby’s head up and prevent it from flopping around. However, a correctly installed car seat is actually reclined to the correct angle to prevent any sort of issues with the head. If the infant head support is not the same brand as the seat, it could impact the harness straps pushing the baby up. Those straps could come loose, and the baby could be ejected in an accident. It might look like it’s helpful, but it could end up doing more harm than good.
Still unsure? Contact Tot Squad and their team of certified child passenger safety technicians can show you how to install a car seat properly, and answer any of your car seat safety questions.
Kids2 provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.