It happens to all parents to be hurrying to go to work in the morning and have to leave their kids to kindergarten, so they dress up their kids and put them in the car in those special babies or kids’ car seats. But most parents use car seats unsafely, not because they are not caring about their kids’ safety but because they simply think that a kids’ car seat is safety as it is.
What many parents do not know is that heavy winter clothing, ski suits, fluffy blankets, and other clothes items or accessories a kid wear while sitting his car seat may endanger his safety.
Let’s see how most parents use car seats unsafely
The main role of the car seat for babies and children is to keep them safe. Any thick heavy clothing material that lies between the kid and the belt it is like leaving an empty space that creates the risk that in the event of an impact, the child should be pushed off the belt. If the belt is not tight enough, in the case of a car crash, the child in the car seat would be put to a very high risk.
The seat belt is ineffective if the kids are wearing heavy clothes.
Instructions of use for a car seat make it clear to those who read them, that thick materials, fluffy ones, are soft and could easily get compressed and you should not dress you kids in such clothes when you’re going to place them in the car seat to take them for a ride.
Also, any object placed behind or around the seat belt protection alter the suitability of it around the kid and endanger his safety.
Warming accessories, such as blankets or sleeping bags, will not protect your kid in the case of an accident because the seat belt will not be maintained fix.
The kids should be dressed in light clothing, with thin layers materials, then should be secured in the car seat with the seat belt, and only after that, they should be covered with a thick blanket to keep them warm.
How to correctly install the car seat?
The correct way to install car seats is facing in the opposite direction of the direction the car is moving. This installation is only suitable for children of up to 28 pounds in weight, so up to around 2 years of age.
A seat installed this way is considered to be 5 times safer than the one installed facing the direction of travel.
For kids, the risk of being injured or dying in an accident is five times lower if you are seated with your back towards the direction of travel of the car, in comparison to the risks the kids who are seated facing in the direction of travel are put at.
During an accident, the child’s head and neck are the most affected part of his body, followed by the legs.
Correctly placing the seat facing back to the driving direction, provide added protection for children of under 2 years old, statistics show:
- The risk of injury increases to 25% for children seated in the same position with the direction of travel.
- The risk of injury decreases to 1% in children seated facing the opposite direction.
- If used and installed in a fair, protective car seats can reduce the risk of serious injury by 90%.
How to check if the seat belt is placed correctly?
For the kid to be safety in the car seat, parents should be able to slide no more than one finger between the seat belt and the kid’s chest. Another way to check if the belt is tight enough is to pinch it.
If it remains fixed on the chest of the child it is sufficiently tight, if not, should be adjusted.
7 most important things to know about child safety when putting them in car seats:
- A car seat for kids weighing between 6 and 28 pounds must be installed with its back to the direction of driving. The other categories of car seats should be installed facing the direction of driving.
- Seat belts must be tightened on the kid’s body, so between the seat belt and the kid’s chest to be room for only one finger.
- Do not place blankets, pillows, or jackets under the kid’s car seat. Also, is not recommended to place the child in the car seat when dressed up in fluffy costumes, or heavy winter clothing, which easily get compressed.
- Always pay attention to the kid’s position in the car seat. The kid must have his head in the headrest pillows.
- Car seats without an own seat belt should be used following the producers’ instructions of use and should be safely tightened up using the car’s seat belts, in order to keep the kid out of any danger.
- Do not use old car seats you borrowed from friends or purchased from second-hand stores. They can endanger children’s lives.
- Always read the instructions of use that comes with the car seat.
Most parents use car seats unsafely and endangering their kids’ health and even lives, especially due to the fact that there is no clear information in this regard. If you know people who have small children, share this information with them, so they’ll get warned and informed on how to properly use the car seat without putting their kids at risk.