Proper usage of a car seat is a very important way to keep your child safe, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages one to 13. Here are some tips for good car seat safety.
Use the right car seat for your child
Your child’s age, size, and your vehicle type will inform the type car seat that’s best for your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics has tips on how to choose and install the right kind of car seat for your child. Download their at-a-glance guide on car seat types.
Have the car seat inspected after installation
After installing your new car seat, it’s a good idea to get some additional assurance that everything is set up properly and safely. A certified car seat inspector is often free of charge. You can find Katy, TX-area child car seat inspector here.
Keep your child rear-facing until they’re at least two
Rear-facing seats give the most protection to your young child’s head, neck, and spine. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children are kept in rear-facing car seats until they’re at least two years old, or until they’re the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer.
Don’t use a car seat that’s been in an accident
A car seat, it can still be unsafe if it’s been in the car in an accident, even if it looks fine. Car seats can absorb some of the force of the crash, weakening its structure. If you’ve been in an accident, replace the car seat right away to ensure its safety, even if it looks okay.
Check the car seat’s expiry date
Car seats last for several years, but they do have expiry dates. An expired car seat can become brittle and unsafe if it’s used by your child. Look for the car seat expiry date on the label of the seat, or on the seat itself. If you can’t find the date, the manufacturer will be able to provide you with that information.
By choosing the right kind of car seat that is within its expiry date, properly installed, and has never been involved in an accident, you can help to keep your child safe and happy on the road.