Ilissa Goman of Binx shares some important info on Car Seat Safety.
Since October is Child Safety Month, and I am a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, I’d like to share some easy tips on keeping your kids safe in the car.
This past spring, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendation that infants be rear facing until age one & 20lbs, at which point they could switch to forward facing.
The current guidelines state that the child should be at least 2 years old, and/or until the child reaches the highest weight/height allowed by the seat manufacturer, to be forward facing.
This doesn’t mean you’ll have a 2 year old in an infant seat. Most infant seats max out between 22-35lbs. You’ll likely switch before this mark, as the weight of an infant and the seat is just too much to carry. At this point you’ll go into a convertible seat, which will be able to be used rear and forward facing. The convertible seat should remain rear facing until the child reaches the above stated guidelines.
Another little known fact; anything in the car that isn’t a part of the car can become a projectile. This is why we have trunks, and cargo nets! That heavy briefcase can go flying in the event of an accident and land directly on top of your child or infant. The same goes for that hot cup of coffee. Make sure to pay attention to what’s in your car!
A huge pet peeve of mine (after taking the CPS class) is after-market products. I’m looking at you Bundle Me! Any products that you bought to go in your car or car seat for your baby/child, as an “add on”, are not safety tested by the National Highway Transportation Safety Admin. This is very important, because these objects are so common, I see them everyday, and it can have deadly consequences. These objects can affects the safety of the car seats and/or become projectiles.
Some of the most common offenders are:
- Roller sun shades that adhere via suction cups (the window cling ones are fine to use)
- Bundle Me’s. (These are fine to use when the car seat is not being used in the car. They’re great for football games, or when pumpkin picking.) (I’ll talk about how to keep baby warm, and stay safe, next.)
- Mirrors (Easily become projectiles)
- Head positioners (Unless it came with your seat, then it’s ok.)
A safe and easy way to keep your baby warm, especially now that it’s getting so chilly around here, is by using blankets over the top of the buckled harness. It’s easy to put a child in a puffy snow suit, however this can be unsafe. It creates a gap between your child and the harness that can cause problems in the event of a crash.
As for head positioners, if your infant seat didn’t come with one don’t buy one. It’s safe to use rolled blankets on the sides of the baby’s head. The picture illustrates how this is done properly.
Another new law in New York State is concerning booster seats. It is NYS law that a child be in a belt positioning booster seat until age 8. The AAP recommends they remain in a booster until a seat belt fits the child properly. This is usually when they are at least 4’9” and between 8-12yrs old.
A great website that is very comprehensive is www.healthychildren.org. They have an entire guide to child safety seats. Another great resource is www.safekids.org; they’re the governing body for CPS techs.
Please keep these tips in minds when driving, they can save lives, and prevent many accidents. As mentioned before I am a certified CPS technician and I do the child safety seat installation check appointments for free by appointment. I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org