Have you observed how excited children get at the idea of going out? That’s because kids love to get out of the house and explore new places. Before you get behind the wheel to drive your little one to a new place, you need to ensure your baby’s safety. A car seat is the most important piece of baby gear while on the move.
Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind to ensure your baby’s car ride is a merry one for the both of you -
1. Make sure properly installed.
All children must be properly restrained while travelling in a car. Since weight recommendations vary, always check the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to regularly check your child’s restraint to ensure that the straps are not twisted or frayed, that straps are in the appropriate position for your child’s size and that all the buckles and clasps are working properly.
2. Keep the straps snug.
In the winter, bulky snowsuits or coats can prevent straps from fitting right. It is recommended that you dress the baby in three thin layers instead, such as a bodysuit, a footed sleeper, and a button-down cardigan, and then adding a blanket over the straps, which should be snug against baby’s body.
3. Keep baby rear-facing as long as possible.
You might be eager to switch your convertible car seat to the forward-facing position, but the experts recommend that children ride rear-facing as long as possible—until they reach the height and weight limits set by the car seat manufacturer. At a minimum, babies should stay rear-facing until they turn 1 and weigh at least 18 kgs. Studies have shown that even 3- and 4-year-olds are five times safer riding rear-facing than forward.
4. Pricier does not mean safer.
All car seat manufacturers are required to meet the same strict safety standards. When you go to shop for a car seat you will find a variety of options in different price range. The difference in price is often due to a designer name or fancier fabric. What’s most important: making sure a model fits your car.
5. Go for new over used.
Experts caution against buying a second-hand car seat if you don’t know the seat’s history (to make sure it hasn’t been in an accident); it’s older than six years; it has visible cracks; it’s missing parts or the instructions; or the seat was recalled. When in doubt, it is best to buy a new car seat—it’s the only baby product parents purchase that has the potential to save a child's life.
Last but not the least, drive safely!