Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If You Have Kids...Most Important Blog Post Ever!!! DON'T MISS THIS!

Carseats are something that I didn't know much about until I met my friend Alicia. She is a Child Passenger Safety Technician and she changed my outlook on carseats. I used to think, I can't wait until my kids are 20lbs so they can be forward facing. We even turned Kermit forward facing 2 weeks before he turned 1 because he was 20lbs. Then I met Alicia! I wish I knew then what I know now. Needless to say, Baby Girl will be rear facing until 2 AND 30lbs for sure! So without being too preachy I wanted to share some extremely important facts about carseat safety. My kids and your kids are just TOO important to not follow the guidelines. Many thanks to Alicia for helping me put this together.

Never use an expired carseat! Carseats expire 6 years from the date of manufacture. http://home.comcast.net/~dcbsr/test/Britax_GMTV_Check_It_Fits_Child_Facing_Forwards_ten_years_old_seat.mpeg

Always sit children under 13 in the backseat! It’s twice as safe as the front seat.

Following your state carseat law does not mean your child is safe! Laws are a bare minimum and are not the safest for our kids.

Infant/Rear-Facing toddler seats
1- Rear facing
2- Straps at or below the shoulders
3- Check carseat manual to see if the handle is allowed to stay up. Some can, others must be down!
4- Straps should be untwisted and ‘snug as a hug’ with chest clip on the CHEST, not the belly!
5- No bulky clothes or jackets in the carseat. Use blankets or put on jacket backwards AFTER the straps are secure. (http://babyproducts.about.com/od/carseats/a/carseatcoat.htm)

Rear Facing
1- The old recommendation of rear facing until 1 year and 20 pounds is OUT! New American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation is 2 years and 30 pounds minimum!
2- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRP7ynNI8mI
3- Rear Facing is about 4 times safer than forward facing.
4- The consequences of forward facing too soon can be deadly or paralyzing—Spinal cord injuries can occur.
5- Long legs with bent knees are okay! Kids are comfy that way and while there has never been a case of a broken leg in a rear-facing child, better a broken leg than a broken neck!

Forward Facing
1- This is a step down in safety, so only when child can’t rear face any longer
2- Straps at or above shoulders.
3- Straps should be untwisted and ‘snug as a hug’ with chest clip on the CHEST, not the belly!
4- Use the top tether! This reduces ‘head excursion’ in a crash and better protects your child.
5- No bulky clothes or jackets in the carseat. Use blankets or put on jacket backwards AFTER the straps are secure.

1- Minimum age/weight for booster use is 4 years AND 40 pounds
2- Meeting above requirement doesn’t mean a child is ready for a booster. When your child is mature enough to stay seated properly (without turning, leaning out of the belt, unbuckling, etc) for the entire trip every time, then a booster is okay.
3- Need to stay in boosters until they are 4'9" or until the child can fit properly in the adult seatbelt. Most children need a booster seat until about age 10.
4- Use the ‘5-step test’ to determine whether your child no longer needs a booster- http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.pdf

So please keep your kids as safe as can be. It only takes a few minutes to make these changes and it could save your children's lives. Please feel free to link this post in your blogs. Pass on the word of carseat safety!!! If you have any questions, please find a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area.


taffi said...

thanks for the reminder!!! car seat safety really is so important, and it's sad to see how many people (including some in my family) are totally blase about it.

Alicia, The Constant Gardener said...

Awesomely awesome! If you reach one person, it will be a success!!

Christine and Jeremy said...

Thank you for the information. I'm still on my first baby and it is nice to know how to better protect her. By the way, your baby girl is just adorable.

Tamlynn said...

My 7 and 8 yos still use high backed boosters. Its just normal for them.

Deters said...

I share the same opinion. Tiig is turning one soon and outgrew his infant seat but I made sure that I chose a new carseat that he can use rear facing for at least another year.