One of the most important purchases that you are required to make for a new born baby is a infant car safety seat, since you are required to have one even for the first journey of your new born baby’s life; when he or she goes home from hospital. Babies in car seats are known to make car travel significantly safer for babies as we all know.
However it is important to keep in mind certain dos and don’ts when it comes to babies in car seats; such as –
- The baby’s car seat should always be in the rear of the vehicle and not the front. This is because vehicles with airbags are known to be dangerous for babies in car seats that are placed at the front of the vehicle – in the event of a collision; they can cause severe and potentially fatal injuries to a child.
- For the first year of life, babies in car seats should be facing the back or the rear of the vehicle and this practice should be continued as long and the baby is content to sit rear facing. Statistics have shown that babies are safer in this rear facing position because when rear-facing, the restraint will absorb collision force better and over a greater area. Though it may not be a legal requirement, it is recommended that babies in car seats should face rearwards until age 4 years if possible.
- It is also recommended that babies in car seats should be positioned in the center of the back seat. A study has shown that positioning the seat in the center of the back seat could cut the injury risk of a child by about 50%. Though the center positioning may be less convenient, it is the safest, because during a crash that has a side impact, the baby remains safe.
- It is mandatory to have a top tether or latch at the top of the car seat, that makes babies in car seats even safer.
- If a baby is too small or too big for his or her car seat, this could reduce the protection conferred by the car seat.
- It is recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics that babies should spend as little time in car seats as possible. It is only while traveling in cars that babies should be placed in car seats. Babies in car seats at other times are not recommended since this could be a potential cause for ‘Flat head Syndrome’.