Are you among the 95% of parents installing car seats incorrectly?
According to a study of 291 families, nearly 95% of car seats are misused. Most of the parents who got it wrong made more than one mistake. 91% of these cases could lead to serious bodily harm.
Below are 7 mistakes you didn’t know you were making:
1. Not reading the manual
If you’re like almost everyone on the planet, you open the box and toss the paperwork aside then dive into assembly or installation. Who wants to read all those instructions?
In the case of a car seat, you do!
A lot of sections won’t apply to you or your child so it won’t take too long to read. Trial and error can be fun when installing a new sound system but when it comes to your baby, getting it right the first time is crucial.
The manufacturer’s website should have the manual online in PDF format.
2. Facing forward too early.
This is a very common mistake most parents make. Kids should remain rear facing for a minimum of two years regardless of height and weight.
If a car accident can cause whiplash for an adult, it can kill a child.
3. Moving on to the next level seat too early.
Parents move their children to a harnessed seat or belt-positioning booster or backless booster before they are physically ready for them.
Companies want you to purchase their products so they state the absolute minimum height and weight recommendations that allow a child to fit comfortably.
4. Using after-market accessories.
Bottom line: if it didn’t come with the seat, it wasn’t crash-tested for it and cannot be guaranteed for safety.
5. Assuming that following the law means your child is safe.
You must follow the law, obviously, but you should realize that most regulations are at least a decade or more behind what is currently known as common sense. For example, New Hampshire still does not require seat belts. This doesn’t mean you should unbuckle your belt as soon as you cross into NH.
6. Using an expired seat.
Yes, car seats have expiration dates. Most seats have a 6-year life span. Check the bottom of the seat to find out your seat’s sell-by date.
You should also check the manufacturer’s website to see if they have recalled your car seat.
7. Buying used seats or using seats after an accident.
Even after a minor fender bender, most manufacturers recommend replacing your car seat. Fortunately, insurance usually covers the cost of replacement.
Never buy a used car seat even it looks okay.
We’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
First published at www.fitpregnancy.com
Featured image source: www.thecarconnection.com
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