Wednesday, December 3, 2008

If I may...

I decided that since this is my blog I'd take a moment to talk about something that is really important to me! :) Carseats! :)

Most people these days know that it's unsafe not to use a carseat and most people do use them. Of course I still see people(almost daily) who don't. But, what a lot of people don't know are how to properly install a seat, when their kids should be turned forward facing, etc.

Everyone is told that when their child turns a year old they can turn them forward facing. Sure they can but it isn't safe. A child should stay rear facing as long as possible, to the weight limits of the seat. For most carseats this is 33-35 lbs. You can find out by looking at the sticker on your seat. Everytime I mention this to someone they say, "But they're legs are bent and they look so uncomfortable." I can tell you that kids are pretty resilient and Kaydence was rear facing until she was 3.5 and granted yes she's short but she never complained. And really I make my kids suck up a lot of other things they don't enjoy and this would be one of them. :) I also hear parents say they're afraid their kids would break their legs if they were in a crash. Maybe so but isn't that much better than breaking your neck?

Take the time to look at this site: There are a few videos and a great article showing why it's safer to keep your kids rear facing:

*Another thing someone reminded me of tonight that I think most people don't realize is that your kid shouldn't wear a big bulky coat in their carseat. The straps may SEEM tight but if you were to take the coat off and put them back in you'd see the straps are actually very loose and the coat makes it seem safe but in a crash that coat won't be a barrier for anything and the seat will be loose making it unsafe.

*Make sure the straps are tight enough that you cannot pinch the strap together in your fingers. Make sure the chest clip is level with their armpits.

*The straps forward facing should be at or above the child's shoulders.

*The straps rear facing should be below a child's shoulders.

*The seat should be buckled in tightly enough so that if you wiggle it near the base at the back of the seat it does not move more than 1".

*If you have an infant carrier always put the handle down. This way if you get hit in a crash the seat will fly back towards the seat. If the handle it up it creates a barrier and jars the infant.

*In most states the law for switching a child from a 5 pt. harness to a booster seat is 4 years old AND 40 lbs. Not one or the other. Also, if you're looking to buy a carseat make sure you buy one that harnesses to 65 lbs. They're making a lot more of them these days and it's so much safer!

*If you do have a booster you should always use a high back booster. A booster without a back is not safe and does not position the seat belt correctly for a small child.

I don't write any of this to make anyone feel guilty! This is just something I'm really passionate about and I wouldn't know any of this unless someone else had told me too! While we all know that we're good drivers we cannot say the same about everyone else on the road. I know as a mom I would never, ever forgive myself if something happened to one of my kids and I could've possibly prevented it.

Alright, off my soapbox now. :)


Jessica said...

Good information! Even though I don't have kids, I know people who do! I will be sure to pass on this info...

ben and erin said...

thanks for the good reminder. i was just thinking today that i need to switch the kids' carseats around. samantha has been in the middle because the seatbelt on the side was messed up a little. but having just the lap belt in the middle for her is so dangerous. i'll definitely switch those around tomorrow!
and i didn't know that rear facing was better. my ped always asked me if ryan was facing forward at every appontment after he turned one and when i'd say yes she'd say, oh good! i'm coming to realize that i'm smarter than her (and now here's one more thing)! but that's a whole 'nother story! :-)

anna said...

Amen, sista!!

anna said...

Amen, sista!!

MJ said...

Here kids have to stay in a booster until they are 4'9 inches or eight years old. They must also ride in the back seat, whenever possible, until they are twelve.

I thought it was pretty funny when they passed the 4'9 law, since there are quite a few little ladies who should probably be in a booster too!

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