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Essential Car Seat Safety Checks When Traveling With Young Children

Car seats reduce the risk of serious injury or death by more than 50%, according to the Children’s Safety Network. However, more than 50% of parents don’t use car seats properly, and 10% confess to not using them when ride-sharing. This is dangerous and puts children at serious risk. Here’s how to ensure your child’s next journey in a car seat is as safe as can be.

Fasten the belt correctly

When securing your child in a car seat, you must check that the straps aren’t twisted. In an accident, twisted straps may not take the full impact of the collision. Both your child’s arms should be inside the harness and the chest pads level. Always tighten the straps so you can just fit two fingers between the strap and your child’s body. Some young children will do anything to escape their harnesses. If this is a problem you face, you may need a chest clip guard to stop your child from slipping their arms through the straps of the harness.

Have a professional inspection

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that 59% of car seats aren’t installed correctly. Common mistakes made include not reading the instruction manual, not fitting the car seat tight enough, and not using the appropriate car seat for the height, weight, or age of the child. If you’re unsure whether your seat is fitted correctly, visit a child safety seat inspection site.  An inspector will check the fitting so that you can drive worry-free with your child. These sites are scattered across the country in cities such as Miami, San Jose, and Austin. Unfortunately, road accidents do still happen and you may need an Austin personal injury lawyer to guide you if you or your child is injured on the road. They’ll help you get the right treatment and compensation where necessary. But you can be reassured that a properly fitted car seat will reduce the number of injuries your child sustains.

Minimize car seat time

Experts recommend that toddlers spend no longer than 2 hours in a car seat at a time. The recommended time a baby should stay in a car seat is just 30 minutes. This advice comes following a UK-based study that found newborns in car seats had higher heart rates, breathing rates, and lower oxygen levels than newborns that laid flat in a cot. If you’re going on a long journey, make sure you take lots of breaks so your kids can get out and move around, before getting back on the road. These guidelines also mean you shouldn’t leave your young child to sleep in a car seat. Many parents will take a sleeping tot in their car seat indoors to continue their nap. But research has found that this increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), so it’s best to transfer a sleeping baby to a crib or bassinet instead.

As a parent of a young child, it’s inevitable that you’ll regularly drive around with them. But make sure you always use an appropriate car seat and follow these tips for optimum safety.

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