Newborn babies are fragile things, and as the parent of a new baby, you need to take precautions while ferrying them about. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that car seats save lives in most cases when car accidents happen. As a responsible parent, there’s no alternative to having a car seat installed for your baby. Here, we look at some tips for parents of newborns when it comes to car safety.
1.Install the Car Seat to Manufacturer’s Specifications
Many car seats come with an insert that helps you put them correctly around the first time. Combination sets like a Nuna stroller and car seat might have the installation instructions included in a separate insert. Following the manufacturer’s instructions ensures that the car seat serves to protect your newborn, no matter what.
2.Never Use a Car Seat That Has Been in a Crash Before
If you’re looking at budget options, you might start shopping around for used car seats. This approach isn’t flawed, except you don’t know if a car seat has been previously involved in a crash. Car seats are manufactured to withstand one impact safely, but with each subsequent crash, they become less likely to protect your baby. Even if you can’t see any damage on a car seat, the internal mechanisms may be compromised. Under no circumstances should you ever reuse a car seat that has been involved in a crash before.
3.Install a Car Seat in the Middle of the Back Seat
The Mayo Clinic states that if you’re installing a single car seat, the middle of the back seat the best spot is for it to go. You should never install a car seat in the front passenger side of the car. Airbags typically deploy in the event of a crash, and if your baby is in that seat, it could smother them. If you have two seats or more seats, install them how best to fit in the available space in the back seat.
4.Don’t Leave the Baby Unsupervised In the Car Seat
This suggestion should be a given, but it’s still something that many parents forget. An unsupervised baby in a car seat could quickly find themselves in difficulties that they may have a hard time getting themselves out of. Keeping an eye on the baby, even while you drive, is essential.
5.Don’t Use Expired Car Seats
Under each car seat is usually an expiration date. If your car seat has passed its expiration date, then you should avoid using it. Expiration dates typically refer to how long the components of the seat are expected to remain usable. If a car seat is expired, there’s no guarantee it will provide any safety for your baby during a car ride.
As a parent, it’s your first instinct to protect your baby. Car seats offer a lot of protection while driving, but only if the seats are correctly installed and are not expired. Damaged car seats should be replaced as soon as possible. It may cost more to buy a new car seat for your baby, but it will be worth it. Reusing old car seats or buying secondhand runs the risk of getting one that’s expired or has previously been involved in a crash. When it comes to your baby, you owe it to them to remain vigilant when sourcing safety products.