How Baby Car Seats help Save Children in accidents
People are often heard bragging how baby car seats are worthless and no children wore them in the olden days. Data, however, indicates the contrary where children lose their lives to crashes in the absence of baby car seats. Let us face it, the number of cars has increased, speeds have increased and more children travel now due to changing life dynamics. The roads are hence a lot riskier. The risk of injury goes nearly 67% lower when children are secured in a well-fitted car seat.
A child’s body is not like an adult body in terms of strength. The cartilages are yet to harden up to form bones. The delicate nature of their bodies makes them more vulnerable to life-threatening injuries if the car is involved in a crash. The danger is also higher because the organs are not as protected as in an adult. Here are some other reasons why car crashes are more dangerous for children than adults:
- Brains and bodies of children are in a developing stage and cannot bear the impact of a high-speed crash.
- Children are small and light and even minor pumps can cause to fly across and bang.
- Children are squirmy and not very firm on seats. In case they are not well secured, they are unable to hold their seat in case of sudden jerks.
Baby car seats help secure the little bodies in place and prevent children from banging against windows or seats in the car. They also prevent them from sudden jerks and bumps.
Do more than just buying a car seat
As a parent, you want to do the best for your baby and hence spend hours hunting stores and websites for the right baby car seat. But, only buying is not enough if you install it and forget about it. There are other factors that you must pay attention to even after buying a car seat.
Here are some considerations to ensure car seat safety. They are beneficial in preventing your children from death, injury or trauma in case of a severe accident.
- Buy the right size. A car seat too big or small for the baby compromises on security
- The car seat should be positioned properly. It should not be placed on the front seat and must be positioned rear-facing as long as possible.
- The base of the seat should be secured properly with the seat of the vehicle
- The seat must be properly attached to the base
- The buckles must be plugged in properly to avoid loosening or snapping open in a stress position
- The child must be in a rear-facing seat for atleast 2 years of age. The weight guidelines by the manufacturer must also be followed properly. Be patient for the transition to a front-facing seat.
- Children must be kept in harness inside a car seat until they turn 8 years of age
- Booster seats are recommended for children in the age bracket of 8-12 years based on their height
- Until the kids weigh at least 90 pounds, they must not move to sit in the front seat.
- Deactivate rear airbags if available in your car because children weighing below 90 pounds must not sit near airbags
- It is advised that it is best to put the car seat in the middle in the rear seat of the car. However, if the belt is not available or you are using more than one car seats, side position is ok too.
- The base of the seat but be well secured and flushed against the seat of the vehicle. The rocking of the bases indicates dangerous installation. Some paediatricians or the local fire department offer assistance with car seat installation. Remember, an incorrectly installed seat is more dangerous than no seat at all.
- Make sure, the harness straps are well buckled and stay in the right position. They should be against the chest and not neck or chin. Tighten if the straps are too loose for your child.
- Car seats with two buckles must be harnessed at all times with both buckles.
- Make sure that the child does not fiddle with straps or unbuckles them.
- Do not hang toys from the handlebar to prevent injury from flying objects in case of a crash
- Car seats come with an expiry date; they must then be discarded.
- Keep checking periodically if the car seat has been recalled or there are bad reviews
When your baby resists a baby car seat
It is likely that the baby can resist the prospect of being buckled down or may want to sit with the caregiver. It is, however, not recommended and also the laws do not permit it. Here are some ways you can keep the baby engaged in the car seat:
- Check the recline angle and chest clip if they are comfortable for the baby. Too much recline or too straight back of the seat can make the baby cranky.
- Opt for a softer car seat fabric or put a seat cover because infant skin is too sensitive and little friction will cause irritation.
- Keep the clothing light as the baby can feel hot
- Keep taking occasional breaks for feeding and stretching
- Talk to the child, tell stories and let them play with very soft toys
- Very light and soft toy mirrors can keep them engaged for a very long time
- Use soft strap covers in order to avoid irritation from seat belts
- Do not forget the headrests especially for smaller babies as they offer support
- Use sunshades in case it is sunny in order to avoid disturbance
There have been several instances of accidents where unsecured children have lost their lives. It is very important to follow car seat safety rules and use a car seat in order to prevent your