In your quest for baby car seats, consider tips for properly fitting a car seat to your car, to avoid the dilemma faced by 40% of parents as highlighted by The Ohio State University College of Medicine research. These parents found their child’s safety at risk due to incompatible car seats with their vehicle dimensions and seat angles.
However, they also stressed that no vehicles or child seats were in any way hazardous.
Julie Bing, a research engineer at the Ohio State College of Medicine’s Injury Biomechanics Research Center and the study’s principal author, has some helpful purchasing suggestions and safety recommendations to ensure your child’s car seat is as safe as possible.
In-Person Car Seat Research
Ask the sales associate if you can take the display unit for a spin in your car. When shopping for a car seat, keep the size of your vehicle in mind.
Even if it has the highest safety ratings and plushest-looking padding, you shouldn’t get the largest, bulkiest child restraint available if you don’t have a large vehicle. You shouldn’t assume it’s safe to transport in your car if it doesn’t fit there.
She assures us that even the smallest restraints are completely secure as long as they are properly fitted and do not interfere with the vehicle’s operation in any way. Then, think about which vehicles will be used and whether or not the seat will fit in them.
Attend a Seat Belt Check Event
Visit a car seat check event, such as those listed at SafeKids.org, and have the specialists show you the best way to install the model you already own. They may reveal that you need to switch the location of your child’s car seat in the backseat; as Bing points out, the middle seat isn’t always the best option, and vice versa.
Advice: Get in touch with the fire department.
Get in touch with your local fire department to see if they will be having a car seat check event soon; they are hosted by fire departments nationwide.
Consult the Manual for Use
Bing stresses the importance of familiarizing oneself with the car seat’s manual, in the same way, one would familiarize oneself with the crib’s instructions before attempting assembly. She explains that the installation instructions will show you how everything should look, whether or not it can contact anything inside the car, and at what angle and how tightly it should be positioned.
Use the information in the instructions to get in touch with the manufacturer so you can get a new car seat if there are any safety concerns, such as a broken clasp or a missing piece.
Be Sure You Recognize Their Car’s Setup
It’s important that whoever is responsible for transporting your child knows how to utilize the car seat properly. Inviting your in-laws or babysitter to a car seat check event is a good idea because each restraint and vehicle seat arrangement is slightly different.
Caregivers who bring a car seat to a check-up event will receive tailored guidance on installing and using the seat in their specific vehicle.
Take Care with Seats That Tilt Backwards
The most obvious mismatch was the slant of the back of the rear-facing seats. The angle at which a child should be seated in a rear-facing seat is indicated by a sticker, label, or a movable marble on each of these seats.
Our research showed that car seats rarely offered the ideal angle for child safety seats. Thirty percent of the permutations had the kid sitting too upright. For optimal safety, the seat must be fitted at the exact angle for which it was designed and tested.
One of the most shocking things we learned was that infants could have safety and health risks if this rear-facing tilt was set too high. A newborn infant’s airway can be blocked if their head falls forward since they cannot support it at such a young age.
It’s crucial to position it at the manufacturer-recommended incline. The best way to ensure everything is set up right is to have a professional look at it and make any necessary changes.
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