As the weather gets colder car seat safety becomes a little more difficult. Here at Rainbow Child Care Center your child’s well-being and safety is one of our top concerns and we know it is one of yours too! Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71% and yet nearly 73% of car seats are not used or installed correctly. To help navigate the tricky waters of car seat safety we thought we would give you some of our favorite tips, as well as some great links for more information.
*Your child should be in a rear facing seat until at least 2 years of age and should be in a harness style seat until at least 4 years of age.
*Make sure your child’s chest clip is always at armpit level. An improperly positioned chest clip causes an increased risk of injury.
*Your child’s straps should be snug. You can check this by performing the pinch test. Pinch the webbing of your child’s straps at their collar bone. If excess slack can be gathered between fingertips, the harness is too loose. Fingers should slide right off a properly tightened harness.
*Car seats and puffy coats or bulky clothing do not mix. Make sure to remove the puffy coat or bulky clothing before buckling your child in. Thin layers work best for keeping your child safe in their car seat. If it is cold dress your child in a lightweight jacket and hat, buckle your child in, and then tuck a blanket around your child.
*Make sure you buckle up too. Your child will understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt more if they see you doing the same.
*Register your car seat. If a part is recalled you will be notified directly from the manufacturer. This will help ensure that your car seat is in top working condition.
*Be sure your car seat is installed correctly. Safekids.org has a safety checklist available for parents to properly check their car seats. (http://www.safekids.org/checklist/car-seat-checklist-parents-pdf). If you are still unsure, do some research to find a local car seat technician who can help you learn to install your car seat correctly.