A guest post by Ruth Van Petten*
Things You Should Know about Car Seats
1: Read the manual! Sounds exciting, I know, but it is important to read about your car seat’s height and weight requirements as well as proper instillation. You might want to peruse the child seat section of your vehicle manual as well.
2: It is a chest clip, not a belly clip. Proper placement is important for keeping little ones secured in their seats.
3. A step ‘up’ in car seats is a step down in safety. I know we get excited as our kids are growing and hitting milestones but we don’t want to rush things put their safety at risk. Keep them rear-facing as long as possible, keep them harnessed as long as possible, keep them boostered as long as possible- car seat belts are designed for adults, car seats and boosters are to keep kids safe in those seatbelts.
4. Rear-facing (something I am rather passionate about) is the safest way for our littles to travel. The AAP and NHTSA recommend that all children stay rear-facing until 2yrs or they reach the weight/height limit of the seat, whichever comes later. Yes, in most places it is legal to forward face at 1yr AND 20lbs but legal does not equal safest. I mean smoking cigarettes is legal but I definitely wouldn’t call it safe.
I have heard a lot of ‘my kid is too big” “my kid will be squished” and that is just not true. My daughter is 2yrs and 9mos, 36ish inches, and 33lbs and she rearfaces just fine. She has no problem seeing things out the window either J
5. Infant carriers were not designed to go on shopping carts! They make them top heavy. Even if your seat ‘clicks’ in, it is still not safe, they were meant to click into strollers (which are much lower to the ground and designed for car seats) not shopping carts. PLEASE- put your infant seat in the basket of the shopping cart or babywear while shopping.
6. Winter coats and car seats don’t mix. Here is a video that shows why:
What to do instead? Fleece jackets are great, warm up your car, use a car seat poncho, blankets, and/or put the puffy coat on backwards after your kidlet is buckled into their seat.
7. LATCH has weight limits! Reading your vehicle manual you may have noticed that there is a weight limit for LATCH. It varies from one vehicle manufacturer to the next but most GM vehicles have a 48lbs limit so once your child weighs more than that you need install with a seat belt. Some vehicles/car seats have a 40lbs limit, check your manual or call a dealership for info on your vehicle.
5 Step Test for Big Kids is your kiddo ready to move out of a Booster?
*Ruth lives outside of Seattle (waaaay out, in the boonies) and has been a Navy wife for almost 12 years. She has spent most of her adulthood working with kids ages 6 weeks to 6th grade and has spent the past 2+yrs hanging out with her own little firecracker.
Linking up with: Modest Mom, Homemade Monday, From the Farm Blog Hop