When it comes to your little ones, we know you’ll move heaven and earth to keep them safe and happy, and their safety when driving is always of upmost importance. When it comes to car seats, there are some myths that surround their use, along with advantages and disadvantages. We’re here to help dispel these myths and make you a much more informed and confident parent.
Want to be in the know? Read on to see our top five car seat mistakes you didn’t know you were making.
Switching to forward-facing too soon
Turning your little ones around can change their point of view, and potentially calm them down if they’re upset. However, this must be done with caution. Experts state that children should remain in rear facing seats until around the age of four, although most parents don’t tend to wait that long, and in fact, an alarming statistic has revealed that 1 in 4 parents plan to move to forward-facing car seats as soon as possible. Please do not be that parent that swaps safety for scenery.
Buying a Second-hand Seat
We strongly advise against buying a second-hand seat, as tempting as it may sound. The reason for this is that you just never know if there are any parts missing, or if it’s passed its manufacturing expiry date. Buying a new car seat can sometimes be a daunting and expensive task, so it’s worth doing the research before you make your decision. Amongst others, we recommend the Britax baby car seat in particular, as they have a long history of manufacturing and keeping your child safe.
Reading the manual is most likely not enough to get the installation of a car seat sorted. A common mistake is to buy the car seat, read through the manual, then go ahead and make the best of it. Even if it looks secure, it’s still worth getting a trained professional to install the seat for you. Again, the survey revealed that two-thirds of parents don’t get the seat installed by a professional.
This can seem like a minor thing to get sorted yourself, but the results could be tragic if the seat isn’t installed and fastened correctly.
Adding extra padding, blankets or pillows to the car seat, can have detrimental effects on its overall safety. The straps may feel snug once you’ve tightened them around the child, but after taking out the extra padding, you’ll see the difference all that padding makes, as the seat won’t feel as snug without having to readjust the buckles again.
Using Front Seat with Airbags
Never put a rear facing car seat in the front passenger side, if the passenger airbag is activated. Not all vehicles are designed to accommodate car seats, and the risk of injury is only increased when the seat is moved from back seat rear facing, to the front seat, facing either way.
It doesn’t matter if you’re choosing a car seat for the first time, or moving up to the next stage as your child gets older/bigger, it’s important you bear in mind all the factors considered. Whether it’s ensuring the seat is compatible with your car, or has the recommended safety rating, choosing a seat that will be comfortable, so your child has enough room to move their limbs, or even something as trivial as price, be sure to keep safety at the forefront of your decision making.