You have just had your baby, and need to be aware of the risks a baby encounters from birth. Car safety is of great importance for your newborn. Children under two years of age are at greater risk of injury in car accidents.
This is for the simple reason that that their spines are still developing in strength.
Forward-facing car seats for infants at a young age are not recommended, as they put them at a higher risk of their spines stretching. This can cause serious damage to your growing infant, which could even result in death.
As grave as this sounds, these are the alarming facts.
Children who are placed in rear-facing child seats have a significantly lower risk of this kind of injury, than children in forward-facing child safety seats. As we pointed out, this is only relevant to infants of age 0-2 years.
We have some easy tips for you to remember when securing the safety of your infant in your car.
Safety tips for children 0-2 years of age: Make sure you restrain your child on every trip. It should become second nature. No matter how short your journey is, buckle up your baby. Keep your infant in a rear-facing child safety seat up to the age of 2 years old, or until your baby has reached the maximum weight that the car seat allows for. Put your rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat of your car. This is because the front seat generally has passenger and side airbags. Some car models allow you to turn off the relevant airbags. Find out from the car manufacturer if this is possible for your specific car model. If you can switch it off, you may place your car seat in the front seat.
The car seat harness that straps your baby in should be tight enough that you can’t fit anything inbetween the straps and the baby. The straps should not sag or twist. Never put a blanket or overly bulky clothing on the baby under the straps of the harness. This affects the tightness of the straps, allowing a gap. Put the blanket over the harness and baby if it is necessary You can tell if the car seat is too small for the baby if your child’s head reaches the top of the car seat. However legs and feet can dangle over the edge. Legs and feet are not affected if they hang over the car seat. Here is a helpful video on how to secure your infant in a car seat safely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvzPZfba4ys
Your child’s safety in your car is a priority, and is easy to do if you follow these easy tips. You can find many instructional videos on how to install your car seat correctly, so don’t be shy to check with youtube if you are not too sure. You can easily find your make and model on the internet for reference.
Infants are extremely fragile at this age, and need you to protect them. Happy, safe travelling!
Megan Mc Kinlay
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