Car Seat Safety Tidbits
The National Highway Traffic Safety Admin says that up to 80% of car seats are installed or being used INcorrectly! As a nanny and step mom with limited car seat experience I couldn't understand how something so common could really be epidemically used unsafely???
Well, at nine months pregnant I made an appt with the Mesa Certified Car Seat Installation Tech at the downtown Fire Dept and I learned all the little things about installing and using a car seat that I would have never noticed on my own.
First of all, I was taught to keep the handel bar in the DOWN position while driving. It is NOT a roll bar and in the event of a crash and roll, if left up in the carrying position it could smash the baby's face and kill them. OMG How awful! There is a sticker on the seat saying to keep it down yet I see this mistake all the time!
Secondly, the tech showed me how to install the base. She used her foot and put a lot of weight onto it to allow the seat belt going through it to get as snug as possible with very little wiggle in the base. It took several mintues to get it taut and in the proper angle.
Next she showed me that there were several positions of the base to create the proper angle for the weight of the baby. On my babytrend carseat there are indicators if this seat is in the right position or not. it is important to check them regularly as it changes when baby hits a certain weight (20 lbs on my seat).
I asked about using the seat in other cars without the base and was assured it is just as safe to use the car seat with or without the base as long as it is sitting in the proper angle and the belt is pulled across as tight as can be. If you are strapping the car seat in without the snap in base you have to position the seat in the proper angle each time and check the indicator, and adjust until it is right.
Lastly she encouraged me NOT to use the mirror because it has caused numberous accidengts with moms gazing at baby instead of the road. I decided to use it anyways, but am extra careful and aware of that now.
If there something additional you know about car seat common mistakes and safetly please comment below and I will add it to the post!