Baby Safety Month: Common Car Seat Mistakes Parents Make

Baby Safety Month: Common Car Seat Mistakes Parents Make

Tips to buckle up your baby safely.  

September is National Baby Safety Month. While you, as a parent, plug up all the electrical outlets, lock up the bleach, and put safety latches on all cupboards, you may be overlooking one important element: car seat safety. Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children in the U.S.? Even more alarming is the news that three out of four car seats are not installed properly, according to the AAA. To keep your baby safe throughout every journey, check out these tips.

Mistake #1: Improper car seat installation.

Make sure the car seat won’t budge more than an inch from side to side or front to back. Check that the straps of the harness are snug against the baby’s body when he or she is strapped in. The pinch test is also recommended: if there’s enough slack that you can wrinkle a bit of strap between your fingers, it’s not tight enough. Don’t forget to lock in the tether strap when the car seat is forward-facing.

Mistake #2: Forgetting to check the angles.

It’s critical that rear-facing car seats recline at a 45-degree angle, especially with newborns. If the car seat isn’t reclined according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s a red flag that it’s not installed properly. If the seat is too upright, the child’s head and neck could get injured. Make sure your child’s car seat comes equipped with a level indicator showing you an incline of 45 degrees.

Mistake #3: Skipping the seat just this once.

It’s easy to think that nothing major will happen when you’re just driving a few miles down the road. It’s even tempting not to strap your child into their car seat harness or booster seat. But, as you’ve probably heard, most fatal crashes happen close to home. The golden rule with car seats is that they are only effective when you use them. Every single time. It’s worth taking a few minutes to strap your child in safely before driving anywhere.

As a parent, you have a lot on your plate. Let the team at Gee-Schussler Insurance Agency take care of your personal and commercial insurance needs – we serve Orland Park and neighboring cities in Illinois.