Monday, April 11, 2011

New Car Seat Recommendations

When it comes to our children, their safety is paramount. We do everything in our power to keep them safe. One easy way is to buckle them in a car seat.

The recently released guidelines from American Academy of Pediatrics recommend keeping your toddler rear-facing until age two. Children under age two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are rear-facing. The new guidelines also say:

Use front-facing seat with five-point harness straps as long as possible. Many go up to 65 or even 80 lbs. Make sure kids stay in booster seats until they reach 4 foot 9 inches. The typical eight-year-old doesn't reach this height.

But the fact of the matter remains that if you don't have your car seat installed correctly or don't have your child buckled into it, the best car seat in the world isn't going to protect your child. A car seat, even if it's covered in polka-dots, is a serious piece of safety equipment. And it takes some serious know-how to install it correctly.

These are just a few of the things that can go wrong with installation: routing seat belts incorrectly, not putting seat belts in lock mode, using both the lower anchors of the LATCH system and the seat belt, connecting the lower anchors and tethers of the LATCH system to the wrong points in the car, forgetting to use the tether at all, and not putting enough weight on the seat as it is being installed

Rather than fret about whether your baby is really safe in their sophisticated, expensive, top-of-the-line car seat, why not just get it checked out by an expert?

Missouri has more than 200 safety inspection stations. Certified technicians can inspect your child safety seat and show you how to correctly install and use it.
Even if they only tweak your installation a little - the average installation has three errors - you can walk away with valuable piece of mind. If they do a complete overhaul on your install job, you will be grateful they did.

Find a list of inspection stations and the one closest to you here.

Next time you look back and see that adorable, sleeping baby, you'll feel much better knowing that he/she is safe.