3 Car Seat Safety Tips every Parent should know about
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Before I had kids, I’ll admit that I was kind of clueless when it came to car seat safety. When I found out I was pregnant, though, I made it my mission to learn everything possible about them. Car accidents are one of my worst fears and I wanted to do everything in my power to ensure that, should my child(ren) ever be involved in a car accident that they’d be safe.
If you think about it, prior to birth, the mother typically makes every effort possible to keep the unborn child(ren) safe. It only makes sense to continue to do so after they’re born, right? Needless to say, car seat safety has become a passion of mine.
Maybe it’s just anxiety speaking, but there are SO MANY ways that our child(ren) can get hurt after they’re born. Skinned knees, broken bones, sport injuries, falling off a bike…we do our best to prevent those injuries with knee pads, bike helmets, reminders of “be careful!” and lessons to learn how to play sports properly. Despite our best efforts, sometimes those kids still get hurt because that’s life, right?
In my eyes, one thing that I can somewhat control is how safe my kids are while in the car. Yes, I cannot control how others drive, but I can do my best make sure that my kids are in the proper car seats for their age/height/weight and that those seats are properly installed.
You can do the same.
Call me overprotective if you must, but really…it’s not really difficult to make sure our kids are in the proper car seats. There are a number of resources that have helped me in learning about car seat safety, so I’m passing them along to you! These resources have been amazing in helping me to learn about proper car seat safety and use:
Join this Facebook Group
When I need specific car seat recommendations the Car Seats for the Littles website is my go-to. Their website reviews a number of car seats and has recommended seats for the United States, Canada, and Europe so you’ll be all set if you need to travel out of country! Did you know car seat regulations vary by county/location? True story. There is a plethora of information on that website.
While I have your attention, join the Car Seats for the Littles Facebook Group. It’s a free and valuable resource. They staff a number of knowledgeable Child Passenger Safety Techs. When you ask questions in the group (after you read their group rules), you can rest assured that the information they provide will be accurate.
If you happen to have car seats your child has either outgrown or are no longer needed, consider recycling them at Target in exchange for a coupon towards the purchase of a new baby gear item!
Register your Car Seats
Just in case you lost that tiny registration paper when you purchased your child’s new car seat, the National Highway Traffic Control Administration has an option to register your car seats online. As with any other purchase you’d make that could be registered, you want to be sure to register car seats so that you’ll be notified of any important recalls or safety notices.
In addition, they offer a number of resources for parents and caregivers when it comes to car seat safety. Their website explains the differences between the various types of seats, provides videos for car seat installation and much more.
Definitely take some time to become familiar with all of the resources the National Highway Traffic Control Administration has to offer.
Get your Car Seats Installed & Inspected
Let’s face it, sometimes it seems you need a degree to figure out how to install a car seat. It needs to be at a specific angle, has to be connected at specific points, etc…it can be a headache for most of us! Thankfully, the National Highway Traffic Control Administration a valuable search option for finding car seat inspection and installation options in your area. Just visit this website, scroll down until you see the “car seat inspection” options (it’s almost at the very bottom), type in your city and state or zip code, click the magnifying glass to search and local options will result. Some locations require appointments and some locations have recurring walk-in hours, so definitely plan ahead when planning your car seat installations and inspections.
If you’re as passionate about car seat safety as I am, you may consider becoming a Child Passenger Safety Technician. A CPST assists families in car seat education, inspections, installations, and more and, in some cases, can even make an income doing so. In that case, definitely check out the National Child Passenger Safety Board for more information.
We hope this information is helpful in keeping your little ones safe and sound while on the road!