Every American state requires that you install a child safety seat for your infant or child. The criteria for specific car seats vary from state to state. Utilizing a car seat for your child is not only a great safety precaution intuitively but also statistically significant. According to research, the use of a car seat reduces the risk of death by 71% among infants and 54% among toddlers. While many parents have taken precaution and installed car seats for their children, they often find it difficult to keep their kids in the seat. Read on to discover four ways that you can keep your child in their car seat for as long as possible.
How to keep your child in their car seat longer
1. Do not Progress too early
Moving to the next car seat stage is not like a crawling milestone. Avoid progressing your child too early, or you will be risking his/her safety. Keep your kid in the 5-point harness seat until he or she reaches the maximum weight limit of that seat. Consider both the age and weight factor when determining whether your child should move to a booster seat. The child should be at least 40 lbs and above four years old when progressing to the booster seat.
2. Choose the right seat for the right age
Most parents do not know the proper height and weight for their children to ride in a vehicle without a car seat or a booster seat. You should always ensure that your child is secured in a car seat that is appropriate for his or her age and size on every ride. Your child can be too big for a car seat and also too small for a seat belt alone, then you should consider getting him or her a booster seat. The way most seat belts are designed is that they don’t fit children until they are 57” (4’9”) tall and weigh 80 to 100 pounds.
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3. Bulky Clothes
Make sure take off bulky coats and clothing from your child before placing them in the car seat. Such clothing affects the tightness of the harness on the child. In case of an accident, the coat compresses to nothing leaving a space between your child and the harness. As such, the extra clothes put your child at high risk of injury and possible ejection from the seat. Moreover, the child will feel uncomfortable and may cry throughout the journey. You probably would not want this kind of distraction when driving.
4. Read the Owner’s Manual
Make sure you understand how the car seat works with your vehicle. Read the installation instructions on both the car seat and vehicle manufacturer’s manual and adhere to all of them to be on the safe side. Ensure you heed to all warnings since not all manuals are the same. A few instructions may include the weight/height limit; carry handle positions, exact installation angles, and many more.
In case you of an accident, which involves a child, contact an injury attorney. These accidents are often sensitive, and you need some guidance on how to handle the case. For more information on child passenger safety, log on to attorney Brad Pollock.