Having a baby is one of the most fantastic feelings in the world. But, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your view of the world around you changes.
Events and objects that you have never really thought about will suddenly be seen as dangerous; simply because you want to protect your new baby.
A quick look at the news will show you the startling fact that in the US 1 in 5 children killed in car accidents didn’t have the restraints secured properly. In fact some of them don’t even have restraints on at the time of the accident. This is why it is so important to know the facts when choosing baby car seats and to make sure it fits properly.
There are several types of car seats:
When your baby is first born they must be placed in a rear facing car seat. This will provide them with the best possible protection if there is an accident.
This approach gives the head, neck and body full support. A front facing one will only support their body weight; despite 25% of their weight being in their head!
In fact a rear facing car seat will help your baby’s spine to strengthen.
They should be in a rear facing seat until they are at least 2 years old.
This type of baby car seat is obviously forward facing and is used by children from age 2 and up. It should least several years but the exact amount of time will depend on the growth of your baby and the recommendation by the manufacturer.
These types of seats have five point harnesses which increase the number of restraint points over the conventional seatbelt; keeping your child safer.
As a rough guide once your child’s shoulders are higher than the top strap in the seat. At this point they will need to move onto a booster seat and conventional seat belt.
There are several excellent convertible car seats available on the market. These can help you to reduce the cost of parenting as one seat can be used through each of the stages of your child’s development. There are some great reviews at cheekytummy which will help you to select the best seat for your child and budget.
It is essential that you familiarize yourself with the correct way of fastening the restraints for your baby or child. These can make a huge difference to how well protected your child is in an accident.
The regular seatbelt is a perfect example of this. You child will probably be desperate to feel grown up and go without a car seat. However, if they are in a booster seat and have the seatbelt tucked under their arm they will be at high risk of serious injury if you have an accident.
Your child should only graduate to seatbelt only if they can sit with their lower back against the seat and their feet on the floor. They should have their knees bent at the edge of the seat and the bet should go across their thighs and shoulders.
If not they still need to be fastened into a correctly fitted car seat.