Your child is your most precious cargo, so it’s important that you get it right when you select and install their car safety seat. However, today’s parents are busier than ever before, and most people have to uninstall and reinstall seats so that different drivers can take their infants to daycare, activities or social gatherings.
In an effort to maximize convenience without compromising on safety, here’s a few safety tips from Consumer Reports for using your child’s infant car seat:
Infant car seats should be installed rear-facing in the back seat of the car
Most people know this, but it bears repeating. Infant car seats are recommended for newborn babies through infants approximately 12 months old. However, individual car seats will have weight and height restrictions, and an infant may exceed those restrictions prior to their first birthday. Regardless, any infant car seat should be installed in the rear-facing position in the back seat of the car. The middle seat is recommended, though it is not always practical for all parents depending on their vehicle and the number of children that they have in the car at the time.
Never have your child wear a coat in their car seat
Here’s a tip that may come as a surprise to many parents who live in cold weather climates. It may seem like common sense to keep your child warm, but don’t assume that they need to be bundled up. By protecting them from the cold, you are actually putting your child in significant danger in the car. No child should wear a coat while strapped into their car seat. The coat prevents the straps from being snug enough to protect the infant in the event of a collision. Instead of a coat, dress your infant in light, airy clothing and wrap a blanket snugly over the car seat straps to keep the baby both safe and warm.
Avoid leaving your sleeping child in the car seat when you get back home
Infant car seats are convenient and practical because the carriers attach to a separate base, making the baby more portable while on-the-go. While many babies are lulled to sleep by the gentle vibrations of the car ride, it’s important that you do not leave your child sleeping in their car seat carrier after you have arrived home. As painful as it may be, it’s best to remove your sleeping baby from the carrier and transfer them to a safer sleeping space, such as their crib.
Never place the infant car seat on an elevated surface
Along the same lines, parents should never bring the infant car seat carrier into the home or another location and place it on an elevated surface with the baby still strapped in. Should the carrier inadvertently fall off of a counter top or a bed, the baby could suffer serious injuries.
By installing the car seat correctly and following the proper guidelines, your child will be as safe as possible while traveling in a vehicle or while jetting out about town with you. However, accidents can happen and injuries still may occur. In the event that your child has been injured in a car accident that involves a negligent driver, you will want to enlist the assistance of a qualified attorney. Our personal injury law firm can help you collect the evidence and advocate for your needs. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.