It’s always a good time to talk about baby safety in cars. The simplest way to keep your baby safe in the car is by using an appropriate car seat. However, the majority of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly and most caregivers don’t even realize this.
Here are five tips from SafeKids.org to help you make sure your children stay safe in the car:
- Right seat. Read the seat’s specifications and instruction manual and make sure it is a good fit for your child’s age, height, and weight. In addition, check the expiration date (yes, car seats have them).
- Right place. Until your child is 13 years old, they should be in the back seat.
- Right direction. Babies should be kept rear facing as long as possible; ideally until they are at least two years old.
- Inch test. Once you have the seat installed, give it a good wiggle at the base. If it can move more than an inch from front to back or side to side, it is not installed correctly.
- Pinch test. When your child is buckled in to the seat, try to pinch the straps at your child’s shoulders. If you can pinch any excess webbing between your fingers, tighten the straps.
If you ever need help installing your child’s seat, check with your local fire or police department to see if they provide this service.