Safety First!!

11 Jun

I think about keeping my children safe every day.  I know they are going to get bumps and bruises here and there, but I hope to protect them from anything too serious.

Occasionally I get a little lenient {or lazy} around the house, and when I do I usually end up regretting it.  Isn’t it a mother’s nature to blame yourself for every little thing that goes wrong with your kids {surely I’m not alone here}?

When it comes to car seat safety, I do not  bend the rules.  I obey every guideline possible.  I don’t want my kids to become flying objects in my car if an accident were to happen {who does?}.

Yesterday I was doing my typical blog reading/stalking and came across this great post.  All about car seat safety!!  The only problem was there was a glaring error about the appropriate age to turn a baby from rear-facing to forward-facing. Thankfully, it has been corrected.  If you followed the link above, you may be wondering what the ruling that the American Academy of Pediatrics is reworking???  The new recommendation is to keep toddlers rear-facing until they are at least 2 years-old!!  Wow…that’s going to be a challenge!

There are a few other things about car seat safety that would have been nice to see on the list, like…

1.  Car seat harness straps should be snug.  Not so snug that the kid can’t breathe, but snug…allowing only about enough room for you to slide two fingers between your child and the car seat straps.

2. Harness straps should be flat, without twists or folds.  And, it is surprising how twisted they can become…but they need to be untwisted before you buckle up!

3.  5-point harness car seats are considered safer than those with only a 3-point harness.

4. The harness clip should be buckled over the child’s upper chest, but below the collar-bone, NOT buckled over the child’s abdomen!

5.  When a child is rear-facing, the harness straps should come out of the harness slots either at the level of the shoulders or just below them.  When a child is forward-facing, the harness straps should come from the harness slots at the level of the shoulders or just above them.

6. Using the LATCH system is safer than using a seat belt to secure a car seat.

I know, it all sounds very complicated.  But there are tons of resources out there that are so helpful…simple things like reading the instructions that come with your car seat OR looking the instructions up online at the car seat manufacturer’s website.  Another wonderful resource is your local fire department…they do free installations and car seat checks!  And finally, one last awesome resource from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

It is amazing how much safety guidelines have changed over the years.  I remember one of my older nursing instructors telling the class how her and her husband used to throw their 4 kids in the back of the station wagon, head out on the highway, and just took a long stick with them to keep the kids in line!  Ouch!  See, things change, but sometimes for the better!


7 Responses to “Safety First!!”

  1. Bethany June 11, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    I remember those days of just hanging out in the back of the car w/no seat belt! We used to lay in the floor board of the car and sleep….safe, right? They change the rules though ALL the time! I’m glad mine are in regular seat belts now, so I don’t have to worry so much about all the restrictions of car seats and boosters!

  2. Wyn-Erin June 15, 2010 at 9:07 pm #

    For what it’s worth, when we were pregnant with our daughter, three years ago, we were clueless first time parents so we took our infant seat to the fire station down the street because everybody says they are pros at installing those things. Not so! It took two of them and the two of us to figure it out. We DID figure it out but don’t be alarmed (no pun intended) if the firemen (or women) are not the experts they are touted to be.

    Have you seen the 3-in-1 car seats? I don’t know if they’re new or not…I don’t recall seeing them three years ago (I saw one recently at a baby shower). They go from 5-100 pounds, rear facing infant seat to forward facing toddler seat to a booster for big kids (the back comes off). What a money saver that would be if it’s worth a darn.

    • rn2mommy June 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

      I haven’t seen the 3-in-1 car seat, although I haven’t been shopping for a new car seat in a few years either. I wonder what the safety ratings are like on those??

      • Wyn-Erin July 21, 2010 at 11:15 am #

        This is the one I referred to above.
        Evenflo Symphony 65 Convertible Car Seat

        Not sure about safety ratings but it gets 4 out of 5 stars from 150+ users on BRU’s website.

        • rn2mommy July 22, 2010 at 7:48 am #

          Even the Britax (that we both have) is considered a convertible car seat. It can hold infants as small as 5 pounds in the rear-facing position. But, it is still considered safer for an infant to be in an actual infant carrier…something made especially for their small size. Plus, the added bonus to the infant carrier is you can actually transport them in it if they have fallen asleep (but, you know all about that!).


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