From the morning school run and dragging the kids along on weekend errands, to road tripping days out and country-wide family visits, time in the car with your little one is inevitable. Making sure they stay safe in the car is not always easy, especially when they seem determined to come-a-cropper at every available opportunity. But there are of course things you can do to ensure a safe trip – and there are things your child can do to help, too. Check out our top five for child car seat safety.
- Correctly Fitted Harness
Buying a car seat is one thing, but do you know how to secure your child safely in place? Begin by placing the chest clip at arm pit level. Next, making sure the straps are over your little one’s shoulders, clip them in – make sure that you can only fit one finger between the strap and their chest.
- Fitting the Seat
This one is quite straight forward, but it’s important to mention nevertheless. Depending on the style of your car seat (i.e. the age of child the seat is designed for), the seat will come equipped with different slots through which to pull the car’s seat belt. If you are securing a child under the age of one or a child who is under the weight of 20lbs (see point 3. below), use the correct slots when facing the car seat to face the rear of the car. Once clipped in, make sure the seat belt cannot be pulled any tighter.
- Face Forwards/Backwards
Depending on the age of your little one, you will need to orientate the car seat to face either forwards or backwards. The rule is that children under the age of one year – or more accurately children under the weight of 20lbs – should ride with their car seat facing to the rear. This should always be placed on the back seat. Remember, children under the age of 12 should always ride on the back seat and not in the front passenger seat.
- Keep Hands in the Car
As adults, this one seems obvious. But children of 3 years and over have the ability to reach and lower the electric window. While it is unlikely that a passing vehicle would come close enough to make contact with any little arms sticking out of the side of your moving car, there is a hazard of bushes, twigs, and branches on tight bends and corners. Make sure to tell your children to keep their hands inside the car at all times.
- Booster seats
Booster seats are generally considered preferable to car seats in children between 40lbs-80lbs. Height must also be taken into careful consideration before choosing to ditch the car seat.
Worried that other parents may not be in the know about child car seat safety? Why not encourage your workplace or school coordinator to hang some potentially life-saving safety signs in visible areas where parents can quickly review the rules at a glance. For customisable design ideas, check out this amazing website.