Research has shown that a large majority of parents doesn’t strap their baby in the seat correctly. Many people think that using a car seat in itself is already protection enough. Unfortunately that is not the case. If you don’t strictly follow user instructions, then you might as well not use the car seat at all. This might be a harsh comment to make, but it’s even more harsh towards your child if you don’t take his or her safety seriously.
Although strapping your baby into his seat might seem like an easy task, the truth is, there are a lot of factors in play and it’s one of the most common things done wrong when using the child car seat. In an earlier blog we’ve shared how much force the 5-point harness will endure. It’s crucial that everything sits right and functions properly, otherwise the seat might fall short in protecting your little one during the time he will need it the most.
Child restraint systems can reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers. A child restraint system is the most effective measure to protect car occupants from injury or worse in a car accident. Given that the restraint system is used correctly.
Follow below five simple steps to do it right each and every single time.
Step 1: Remove thick, warm, puffy or bulky clothing from your child. The safety harness needs to sit snug and tight around your child’s body, not around their thick clothes. If it's cold, use the car’s heating system to warm up the car and wrap your baby in an extra blanket after strapping him into his seat if necessary.
Step 2: Check if the harness is at the correct height for your child. An incorrectly adjusted harness will not only be uncomfortable for your child, but will also lose a lot of its protective capabilities, making it a potentially dangerous tool instead. Make sure the straps are at the following positions:
Rearward facing car seat
Straps just below the shoulders
Forward facing car seat
Straps just above the shoulders
Step 3: Check if the harness is straight and the straps are not twisted. The harness needs to exert a lot of force in case of a car accident. A twisted strap will not be able to absorb as much energy and might even turn into a threat.
Step 4: Align the straps over your child’s shoulder and make sure both chest pads are level.
Step 5: Pull the harness snug to your child’s body. Not too tight but certainly not too lose. A good way of measuring is to put two fingers underneath the straps where they cross the collar bone. If this fits without any slack in the harness straps, you’re good.
That’s all. Five simple steps you should follow each time when you strap your child in his car seat. Do this each time and you will have peace of mind on every trip you take your little one.
Also don’t forget to give the good example yourself too. Always use the seat belt when driving a car. Your baby will notice this routine and will automatically use a seat belt once he can leave the car seat behind. #Seriouslifehack.