Being a parent is full of trial and error. One thing that you don’t want to guess on, however, is the safety of your child’s car seat. When a car seat isn’t being used properly it greatly decreases your little one’s safety. Here are some common car seat mistakes that you should always avoid.
- Poorly Positioned Chest Piece
One of the most seen car seat mistakes which also happens to be the easiest to fix is the position of the chest piece. The chest piece was designed to fit directly across your child’s upper chest and is fitted to keep them securely in their car seat in case of impact.
The chest buckle should be adjusted each time your child is strapped in and positioned to fit directly across their chest.
- Not Adjusting The Buckles Often Enough
Children grow a lot faster than you may expect so making sure to tighten and loosen their harness according to size is very important. This is especially true when it comes to the shoulder straps. While your child may not seem to be putting weight on, they do get taller each day!
So make sure to check the slack of the buckles often to insure that they are staying safe and comfy.
- Moving Them Out Of A Rear Facing Seat Too Soon
The rear facing position is the safest for any child because of the impact protection it offers. So try to keep them in this position for as long as possible.
Not only does a rear facing position keep them out of harm’s way from airbags but it also provides a shell like barrier around them. Most new car seats let you keep your child in this position longer so keep that in mind when shopping around.
- Not Tightening The Straps Enough
There are many reasons why you should always tighten the straps to your child’s harness system often. Not only does a child’s size factor in but what they are wearing does too. Bulkier clothes mean you need a tighter fit.
So adjust the harness often to avoid an ill-fitting seat.
- Following Only The Manual
The car seat manual is a great resource for checking guidelines and concerns, but you should always refer to a medical guide when installing and using a car seat.
There are many great resources and handbooks available to you that will ease any parenting concern you have. Along with handbooks you should always check your car’s manual to insure that you are using you’re the LATCH system correctly.
- Following Only State Laws
You should always follow the laws according to your state, but don’t assume that those laws are the safest. Do some research!
Other parents are the best resource available to you because chances are they have all been through it before. National parenting networks are a great way to find out what has been tested and proven to be safest for children when it comes to car seats.
- Using A Second Hand Car Seat
Using hand me down seat is one of the most common car seat mistakes. Car seats come with expiration dates. This isn’t a scam to make you purchase more baby gear so pay attention to these dates.
Every year there are more advances made in the safety features as well as changes to state laws. So stay on top of what is new and best.
- Using Both LATCH System and Buckle
The LATCH system is always the best way to go but just because your car has both a LATCH and buckle system doesn’t mean you should use both at once.
These systems were not meant to be used together, so just choose one.
- Finding The Best Harness System
Do some research to make sure that the car seat you’ve purchased is the best when it comes to safety. The five point harness system is currently the best one available so do your child the service by making sure to purchase a car seat with this system in place.
- Buying A Car Seat Depending On Your Child’s Age
While you obviously want to use a car seat that is age appropriate, you also want to keep in mind the size of your child.
You child’s weight isn’t the only thing you should factor in, also keep in mind the milestones you little one has reached.
A great way to avoid making common car seat mistakes is to stop a car seat check points. This is a great resource that was put in place to insure that your child will always be safe while on the road. Good luck.