New parents take a lot of time picking out items to create a beautiful and baby safe nursery. The same kind of care needs to go into choosing the right car seat for your vehicle. Over 50 percent of parents use a car seat incorrectly. Take the time to learn to use the car seat correctly. Your baby’s safety is at stake. There are five commonly mistakes made when using a car seat that are easily avoided.
Car seats actually have an expiration date. A car seat is only good for a 6 short years. The plastic on the car seat starts to weaken once it passes its expiration date, making the seat unsafe. If using a seat from an older child, make sure that the expiration date has not passed. Buying a car seat from a yard sale or borrowing one from a neighbor is not recommended. You do not know the history of that car seat and it could have been in an accident.
Straps and clips
Parents are afraid of making the straps on the car seat tight for fear that they may hurt the baby. However, it is the opposite that is true. If the straps are not tight enough your little wiggle worm will be able to get free. Also if you are in an accident, the loose straps will not keep your baby from getting whiplash and other injuries that can occur. There is a simple test to check to see if the straps are too loose. Try to pinch the straps at the shoulder location. If you can get the material to fold without applying too much effort, the straps need to be tightened. The location of the clip is important as well. The chest clip needs to be aligned with the baby’s arm pit. The clip could injury the stomach if not properly placed.
It is a natural reaction to bundle your baby on cold wet days. However when placing a baby in a car seat, this is actually a mistake. In an accident, the layers of clothes are compressed by the straps. This will leave room for your baby to be whipped around in an accident.
The baby’s first birthday is usually celebrated by being moved to a forward facing position in a car. This is a mistake. Wait until the baby reaches the maximum weight and height of the car seat.