My wife and I had our first child in June 2014. Personally, I worried about making sure Ella’s room was finished before she arrived. I assembled the crib, glider, and changing table. We purchased a diaper bag, stroller, car seat, and other necessities a little one requires. The big day came and went and it was time to go home. It was completely up to us to make sure the car seat and base were installed correctly. This turned out to be a little more complicated than I expected.
According to SafeKids.org, 7 out of 10 car seats are not used or installed correctly. It’s no surprise that the number one cause of deaths among children is trauma, such as car accidents. Unintended injury accounts for 43% of all deaths in children. To a new parent, that’s extremely alarming.
Here are some of the most common child safety seat installation mistakes, according to seatcheck.org:
- Not using the right child safety seats for the child’s size and age
- Not placing the child safety seat in the correct direction
- Incorrect installation of the child safety seat in relation to the vehicle’s air bags
- Incorrect installation and tightness of the child safety seat to the vehicle seat
- Not securing or tightening the child safety seat’s harness and crotch straps
- Improper use of locking clips for certain vehicle safety belts
- Not making sure the vehicle’s seat belts fit properly across the child when using a booster seat
- Using a defective or broken child safety seat
Parents learn something new every day. Before becoming a father, I was unaware that car seats were like helmets. They are designed to withstand one impact. That’s it. If you are involved in a small fender bender with zero damage, your insurance company will require you to purchase a new child car seat. This is the danger of purchasing used car seats. There is little chance in knowing the history of that car seat.
In summary, if you have kids in car seats, take the time to get your car seat inspected. Visit www.seatcheck.org to find an inspection location near you.
Wilson Kehoe Winingham brings you this information with best regards for you and your family’s safety.
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