Safety: Car safety for babies and children

According to the laws in USA, you must take your new born baby home from the hospital in a car seat. When travelling in a car, make sure you baby sits in the back seat in a car seat and make sure to fasten the seat belt.  Making excuses such as, car being too cluttered with baby seat, that the distance is too short, baby not liking the car seat means putting your baby’s life in danger.

About car seats:

  1. Your baby should travel in your car in the back seat facing back until 1 year-old. You start using infant car seat which resembles basket with a bottom and which can be mounted to the seat base attached on to your back seat.
  2. As your baby gets bigger, depending on his/her size, before or around 6-months old, you upgrade to a convertible car seat which can be used until the child is 4 – in most models. Have the car seat (infant or convertible) face the back, until your baby is one. After 1st birthday, turn it to face the front.
  3. There is a variety of safety harnesses in the car seats. There are 3-point harness and 5-point harness. 5 point harness is always better in terms of securing your child. There are many car seat models that you can use with 5-point harness that you can use until 6-7 years-old.
  4. When your child is older than 4, you “can” use a booster seat. With booster seats, you secure your child with your car’s sealt belt instead of the attached harness in the car seat. Booster seats help prevent car seat belts cutting your child’s throat. Children and adults in front seats and in the back should never ignore to put on seat belts.
  5. After 7-years old (about 60lbs.), kids grow out car seats with harnesses and upgrade to booster seat using the car’s own sealt-belt.

Before your baby is born, take your car to a local inspection station to have the infant car seat base inspected whether it was properly and securely installed to your car.

Other Resources:
Child Safety and Car Seats
Child Seats Ease of  Use Ratings

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