Simply Nerdy Mom: Protect Your Baby: Knowing The Facts About Car Seats

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Protect Your Baby: Knowing The Facts About Car Seats

Your child is the most precious cargo you will ever have. Which is why we as parents need to be as informed as possible when it comes to their safety, especially when riding in a vehicle. 

I am frequently amazed at how many parents, grandparents, and other friends and relatives don't know the proper way to use child safety seats, and with the latest statistics an overwhelming number of those people find out the hard way.

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in children in the United States and what's more is that most of those deaths were completely preventable. 

A lot of the stories I read and hear about, the main statement made by the families is, "No one told me that I was doing it wrong"

The thing about becoming a parent is, you want to make sure you feed them properly so you research it. You want to make sure they are growing properly so you research it. You basically research everything you can. So why do parents so often skip over child safety seat information, especially with it plastered all over the place in newspapers, magazines, and the internet. To be completely blunt, there's no excuse for it! Unless you are blind and deaf, you've had to of stumbled upon it somewhere at some time. 

Not only do we need to know which way to face our children for maximum protection, but we need to make sure the seat is installed properly and securely. If you are unsure of this, many towns have places that will show you how. As a matter of fact, all you need to do is take the seat with you to a police station and a police officer will assist you free of charge. You really can't afford not to. 

Another thing I see is improperly fashioned seat belts on the child safety seat. The chest piece is there for a reason. It's not a stomach piece and it's certainly not optional. This piece should be fashioned right at the child's chest. 

See this picture? It's WRONG! 

This one is close, but to be completely honest, it should be up even a little bit more than this. You are not going to strangle your child. You are saving their life. 

Another risky move even the most cautious parents make, is strapping a child in a car seat with a coat on. In order to ensure they are properly strapped in, do not put the coat on them while they are in the seat. Please, do not do it! I know it's cold out. cover them with a blanket or place the coat over top of them after they are strapped in. If you are concerned about them getting sick, don't be. On a scale of 1-10, a few sniffles is pretty low on the scale of things you should be worried about. I'd rather my child be sick than dead. Think about it. 

Do not add anything to the safety seat that did not come from the manufacturer either. They have no use on a car seat and actually hinder safety. Why risk it?

Another common mistake is letting children ride in the front seat of a vehicle long before they are of the proper weight and height. Most cars have air bags and air bags are horribly dangerous for small bodies. If you've ever been in an accident where air bags have been deployed, you should know the impact those give off when they hit a human body. They aren't as soft as people would think and a lot of people have gotten broken bones just from the air bags alone, but let me tell you, it sure beats being dead!

This right here?

GIGANTIC mistake. There are so many things wrong with this picture that I literally cringed when I saw it. NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES PLACE A CHILD SEAT IN THE FRONT! Yes, she's backwards facing, but that's neither here nor there. It's still wrong. 

The CDC has this handy chart to help you decide how your child should be seated in a vehicle. 

What really trips my trigger about this topic is when the media gets it wrong. 

This is a photo, brought to my attention by my cousin's wife, that proves my point:

This is a scene from the hit show The Good Wife which airs on CBS. 

In 2012, a horrific 3,116 deaths were the direct result of improper use of a child safety seat. That number has risen since then. With statistics like that, you would think the media would make sure they hit the point home. I fear that things like this will cause so many parents to use the excuse that they saw it on television so they never thought they were doing it wrong. 

I've called out the show executives and tweeted the show with this photo, asking for someone to address that this is most certainly NOT how to seat your child under the age of 2, in a vehicle. I really believe we need to bring attention to this. I believe that the media has the ability to save lives if they do so in the proper manner and someone needs to publicly address this poorly thought out scene. Yes, I am fully aware that it is a television show, but television shows seem to touch on important, real, subjects all the time. Why should this topic be any different? If you ask me, this topic is just as important!

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