Riding is fun, but if you bring along your kids with you it can be a different story. Why? Your number one concern should be keeping your child safe when they are riding with you. Many people don’t know the basics of car seat safety and just do what they think is alright. But how if they make blunders on it? Then, it would be very dangerous. To avoid those dangerous occurrences, here is some common mistake people tend to do you should know.
8 Common Mistakes Of Car Safety Every Parent Should Avoid
1.Installing The Car Seat In The Wrong Place
The most common mistake made by parents is not installing the car in the right place. The basic rule is to place the car seat on the back seat that away from an active airbag. That’s what you should do. But unfortunately, many people think that placing them in the front seat will be better since they can check their babies. It is okay to think about checking them regularly, but make sure the spot doesn’t have an active airbag on it. You can deactivate the airbag if you should.
That is basic. Why? the main reason was that airbags can be very violent. The instant inflates of the bag might harm your infant. When the bag expands, it could hit the rear-facing car seat or your child’s head. While the kid that sits on the forward-facing car seat could also get harmed by the airbag. This can be a fatal injury. This is why, you should consider placing them in the safest spot – the back seat or the middle row seat of your vehicle.
2.Installing The Car Seat And Buckling It Up Incorrectly
There are many cases, where people don’t care about the basics of car seat safety manual and install the seat just as they wish. You should avoid this mistake by reading and understand the instruction. Worth noting, to avoid any damage to this device and the seat you should check the car seats’, manufacturer instruction and the vehicle’s owner manual. If you can’t find it, at least the seat should be tightly secured with no more than a 1-inch movement.
The 1-inch gap should be avoided so there will be no movement from side to side or front to back. At the same time, worth noting that there are two possible car seats you can choose from. The Infant-only model or the convertible model. For both products, you also have to be careful when buckling it up. It is not only about safety but also about your child’s comfort. So what you should do to make sure there will be no discomfort or wrong buckling method?
First, buckle the harness straps and the chest clip even with your child armpit. It will allow your kids to move their arms freely. At the same time, make sure the clip lies flat against their chest and their hips without any slack on it. Second, you should use the harness slots that you can find placed below the child’s shoulder. Then place the harness over their shoulder to secure them at the place. But make sure, you keep them tight yet without harming your child.
3.Placing It To A Forward Facing Car Too Soon
The basics of car seat safety you have to know are using the rear-facing car seat as long as possible. People may think that they can place the seat in the forward-facing position so they can see their child through the rearview mirror. One thing for sure, this is not advised until the child reaches the highest height or weight allowed by the car seat. To make it easier to understand, you should put them on the rear-facing position as long as the car can handle the kid.
That is the basic which you should follow. Placing them to earlier might affect the car seat to be unstable or make a burden to your kid. So, think ahead before you do this mistake. If you found that your kid already reaches the weight or height limit, then you can use a convertible seat and facing it forward. Once again, make sure to follow the manufacturers’ instructions when you are going to switch the position and the placement of this child car seat.
In this case, you may have to tighten the car seat using the seat belt or the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). Along with that, use the strap tat hooks the top of the seats and attaches to an anchor to boost the stability. At the same time, don’t forget to adjust the harness straps so that they are above your child should and fit snugly. If you can make sure everything is done correctly, there will be any problems any further.
4.Transitioning To A Booster Seat Too Soon
How about using a booster seat for your kids? Another the basics of car seat safety mistakes made by many people are choosing to use a booster seat too soon. This is quite troublesome since it can lower the safety measurement. How could? Your vehicle is designed with seating that fits or suitable for older kids, teens, or adults, but not for your young kids. Especially those who still an infant, weight lower than 40 to 80 pounds or 18-36 kg, or those younger than the ages of 8.
That is why the car seat is made for your kids. Choosing to move on to the booster seat is okay if your children have topped the highest weight around 18 to 36 kilograms. This particular seat is needed to help your kids to use the adult safety belt correctly. It also needs to use both the lap and shoulder belt. Now think about this, did your kid reach that weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer? If they haven’t, then stay with the car seat.
5.Using A Safety Belt Too Soon
Consider using a safety belt for your child? Think twice before you make the mistake of using a safety belt too soon. Base on the safety measurement, most of the kids can use an adult seat belt when they are around the ages of 8 to 12. However, if your kids reach a height of 4 feet 9 inches nearly 1.5 meters they can sit on the seat and use the adult safety belt. This a common mistake people do since the kids don’t want to use it anymore.
The basics of car seat safety state that your kids allowed to use a safety belt if they can sit against the back of the seat comfortably. Their knees will bend comfortably at the edge of the seat and remain in the same position for the entire trip. On the other note, make sure that the shoulder belt stays in the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder, not on their face or neck. Plus, the lap belt will lie low across their hips and pelvis in a thigh, secure, yet not too much restraining fit.
6.Wrong Reclining Angle
Go back to the car seat. There are times when parents make mistakes in using recliner seats. The most common error is the incorrect angle. When in the rear-facing position you should recline the seat according to the manufacturer’s instruction. It is better to follow the book and avoid your child’s head doesn’t flop forward. It is also worth noting that your child must be in the semi-reclined position. So their airways will always open and avoid dyspnea.
7.Doesn’t Remove The Heavy Outwear
Keep in mind that the seat will have straps that safely tighten your kid’s body. The thing you must consider before you put your child on the seat is their stuffy clothes. Bulky outerwear and blankets that wrap your kids can prevent harness straps from hugging your child snuggly. At the same time, it can make your kids feel uncomfortable. In this case, it is better to remove the stuffy materials, buckle the harness, then place the blanket or coat over the strap.
8.Installing A Used Car Seat Without Checking It
The last of the basics of car seat safety mistake is installing a used car without checking it. There is nothing wrong with using this seat, but you should look at its condition. See if the car seat isn’t more than 6 years old or expired. Also, check and make sure the seat as no missing part nor visible damage, has never been in a crash, hasn’t been recalled, and has a complete instruction and label that show the model number plus its manufacture date.
One thing for sure, you should remember that your kid’s safety matters the most. While it may bothersome to follow the correct procedures, but what you do can greatly increase family safety. It is very important and should not be ignored. Especially, doing some mistakes likes mentioned in this article. One mistake can be fatal; two mistakes can be worse. So, you better avoid them and adjust or install the car seat as it’s supposed to be.