Think you know everything about car seats and how to properly install them? I didn’t think I knew everything but thought I knew enough so I waited 2 years to get a free inspection and then I failed! Okay, maybe I got a B.
Anyway, I would recommend getting a car seat inspection and it is much better if the child is in the car seat because there are extra things for the technician to look at. I think most hospitals offer them and they are, to my knowledge, always free. I saw a free car seat safety check while I was shopping the other day and thought I would stop by.
The three main things they pointed out to me were:
1- The chest buckle was not high enough. They said it should be at in line with his arm pits.
2- The manufacture manual did not actually state that the car seat could not go in the center, but it did recommend that it goes on the side. I thought this was interesting because all you hear seems to indicate the best place for your child to be is in the center of the back seat. They recommended to call the manufacturer and see if they recommended against placing my car seat in the middle of the back seat. One reason given was that the anchor points are possibly too far out and do not stabilize the car seat correctly. Interesting.
3- The other big thing they pointed out were all of the loose objects in my car (I had just finished shopping). They said these objects could become hazardous if I were to be in an accident. I guess it is time to learn to use the net in the back of my car!
I reviewed the Installing Child Safety Seats Manual that I obtained at a local hospital and here are a few other things that I found there:
1- Take the wraps off. There should never be a blanket between the child and the restraint straps.
2- The top of the child’s head should be at least one inch below the top of the of the plastic shell of a rear facing infant seat.
3- Keep straps straight, snug and flat. A good test here that the technician showed me during the safety check was that if you could pinch up any part of the strap between two fingers, it was too loose.
4- When an older child is wearing a seat belt, do not place the shoulder belt behind the child’s back. Also make sure the lap belt is across the hips, not the stomach. Both of these mistakes could result in extra injuries.
If you have any other questions, you can check here for more details. These are just the things that I learned.
See you tomorrow!