What?! No ‘Freakin’ Fantastic Friday‘?
No, not this time, I still have some freakin’ fantastic info for you and it is a Friday, just not your usual ‘Freakin’ Fantastic Friday‘ blog post..
Growing up, depending on your age, your car seat was probably an arm thrown across you with the statement “hold on” LOL or if you did have an actual car seat think back really hard if your parents properly placed it in the car correctly.
Most people can and will properly place a newborn car seat in their vehicle, but once you get out of that new precious baby stage and into other car seats as you grow, not too many people know much about car seat safety.
I recently took a Car Seat Safety class and boy, oh boy the things that I didn’t know and how thankful I am that the Most High kept me covered as a child, as well as the children I drove around whenever I got older. Now, don’t get me wrong myself (and the children I’ve drove around) weren’t in any great danger or not in the proper car seats, just not properly placed according to the class I took. I really learned a lot and, of course, I want to share this great info with you all whether you are about to have a baby, already have children, or nephews, nieces, children that are placed in your care. Let’s learn together. 😊
***DISCLAIMER: I am not a car seat safety expert, nor do I claim to be. Before placing a car seat in your vehicle make sure to read your vehicle’s manual as well as the manual that comes with your car seat. Safety is very important! Improper use or placement of a car seat can be very dangerous and could possibly lead to serious injury or death. This blog is only intended to provide information that I have learned recently.***
So, let’s start with the different types of car seats you can have:
- Rear-facing car seats
- Forward-facing car seats
- Booster seats
First, I’ll let you know what I learned about rear-facing car seats, (facing the back of your vehicle) these can come with or without a base unit depending on what you decide to purchase. Babies from newborn age to the age of two should be in a rear-facing car seat. Depending on your baby’s weight and height. Most rear-facing car seats’ weight goes up to 35-45 pounds and your baby’s head should be 1 inch away from the top of the car seat. The car seat should be buckled in tightly by either the seat belt or the latch belts attached to the child’s car seat. When buckled in make sure that the car seat is leveled correctly per the guide on your car seat. Try to move your child’s car seat to make sure it doesn’t move more than one inch when pulled (don’t be extremely strong because if you want to move it, you will). After you have correctly placed your car seat in the vehicle’s back seat, only, you can now place your baby in the car seat. When locking your child in make sure that the straps around your babies shoulders are snug and you can’t pinch the straps into a fold. (Don’t go overboard and have the straps extremely tight on your child where they are uncomfortable, use good judgement.) The harness should be at armpit/nipple level and the buckle should be in between your baby’s legs. (This applies to all 5-point harness car seats) Make sure to check ALL of this on your car seat and/or car seat manual.
Let’s move on to forward-facing car seats (facing the front of your vehicle). Most toddlers and “big kids” use these types of car seats (unless your child is over the age of 2 AND has outgrown the weight and height limits for the rear-facing seat). All rules still apply place the car seat in your vehicle correctly prior to placing your child into the seat. Read your vehicle and car seat manual for more instruction.
Lastly, is the booster seats, for your older and bigger children (unless your child is under 4 feet, 9 inches tall+ AND has outgrown the weight and height limit of the forward-facing seat). These can come in different styles like the booster seat that only have the bottom portion and then you have the ones with the back and head support. These seats don’t have a harness and you will have to use your vehicle’s seat belt with lap and shoulder straps to strap your child in. The lap belt sits low on your child’s hips and not on their stomach, as this could cause damage in the case of an accident. The shoulder belt is on their shoulder and should fit snug, flat and comfortable on them, not on their neck, under their arm or behind their back. + Make sure to check your state’s laws and requirements.
Here are just a few extra tips:
- All of the listed car seats should be placed in the back seat of your vehicle and not in the front with an active air bag.
- Do not use extra products that did not come with your car seat and/or supported by the manufacturer (ex. head and neck supports, vehicle seat covers, etc).
- Know your car seat’s history. Only borrow a car seat if you know it’s full crash history. That means you must get it from someone you know and trust, not from a thrift store or over the internet. Once a car seat is too old, missing parts, has been in an accident or is recalled, it needs to be replaced. Trust me I know car seats can be a bit pricey, especially if you want all the fancy bits and bows included, but the peace of mind knowing that your child is in a safe car seat is worth the price.
- Check the label and make sure the car seat is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height.
Also, I did not mention the convertible car seats (can be used both rear and forward facing) because if you know what convertible means, they are pretty much self explanatory.
I believe that is all that I have for you today. I can not stress enough that you should and need to read your vehicle’s manual, as well as, the car seat manual that comes with your car seat. Your local fire and/or health department may be available to check to make sure your child’s car seat is properly installed and answer any questions you may have, don’t just assume you know it all, and if you do it never hurts to refresh your knowledge. Your child’s safety is worth it 🙂
If you have any extra tips, comments or questions please feel free to comment below and, if I can, I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Have a freakin’ fantastic day and be safe out here in these streets 😉