By Guest Blogger Natalie Haire
Seat belts are a no-brainer. You pull the strap over your chest to your waist and click, it’s right.
Infant and toddler car seats are another story, especially for new moms. When you leave the hospital with your tiny baby there is no one there to ensure their safety. It’s up to you as a parent to install the seat correctly and strap them in properly. However, it’s not always an easy task.
Recently I went to a car seat safety check hosted by Triad Moms on Main and Safe Kids NC. Below I’m sharing mine and another Mom’s top six takeaways from this important safety inspection.
Top Five Takeaways:
1 – Straps – How do you know if your straps are tight enough? Simply take your index finger and thumb at his/her shoulders and pinch. If you pinch a loop in the strap, it’s not tight enough.
2 – Security of a Convertible Car Seat – If you’re like us, your infant car seat was super tight, but your convertible car seat just can’t seem to get tight enough. These seats are only secured tightly when they do not move more than one inch when you pull on it. So how do you get it to it’s tightest point?
Feed the strap underneath the padding in the seat and pull it in the opposite direction. It’s good to put some force by using your body or your foot on the seat and pull. This made our seats unmovable.
3 – Tether Strap – when your child outgrows a rear-facing seat and moves to a forward-facing seat, the seat is not secure unless you’re using the tether strap, and have it anchored behind the seat.
4- Recalls – Even though our car seats had not been recalled, we wouldn’t have known where to check for this information until they told us. It’s super easy to check by going to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and putting in your brand and model, which can be found on your seat.
5 – Worth the time – If you get a chance to go to a car seat safety check, go! It doesn’t take much time and we guarantee you’ll make some adjustments to your seat before you leave. It’s worth knowing it’s been checked by a professional and it could save your child’s life!
If you missed this event, click the links below to find inspection stations. Not all counties are represented on Safe Kids, but you can also check the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and put in your location for inspections.
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