When it comes to driving with your little ones, car seats are an obvious necessity — if installed and used correctly, child car seats can reduce fatal injury by up to 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers, notes Safe Kids Worldwide. The only problem is, if you aren’t using those car seats properly, you could unintentionally be jeopardizing the safety benefits and, in fact, putting your precious cargo at risk. How do you know what goes into proper car seat safety for your mutliples?
To help answer these questions and give you confidence your Twins are properly secured on the road, here are some important tips to keep in mind from the experts at Estrella Insurance:
Use Quality Car Seats
Buying used baby goods is tempting, especially when you have twins and/or multiple children because all the expenses add up fast. Though when it comes to safety devices like car seats, don’t skimp on costs in an effort to save money. When you find used versions or older models, those items will likely no longer have intact warranties and can pose safety risks. Likewise, if your car is in a serious accident, you will likely need to replace car seats, whether or not your children were in them during the event. Car seats can absorb the force of a crash — so get yours checked out accordingly.
Keep Kids rear-facing as long as you can
Babies up to 2 years old should always be in rear-facing car seats. Ideally, keep your kids in rear-facing seats as long as possible, since this mode better supports the back and the neck. If a child is uncomfortable in a rear-facing seat, meets the forward-facing minimum requirements, and is older than age 2, only then is it appropriate to switch to a forward-facing seat.
When it’s Time to Switch to a Forward–Facing Seat, Take Safety Precautions
When it is time to switch your child to a forward-facing seat, be sure to use the tether strap that secures to an anchor point in the car. This is crucial, as it minimizes the amount that a child’s head will be able to move in a crash.
Lock in Car Seats Tightly
All the safety benefits of a car seat are compromised when that car seat isn’t used properly. To ensure your kids are protected, install the car seat using the car’s lower anchors or seat belt to secure it in place. Also, double-check that the seat is tightly secure in the vehicle and can’t move from side to side or front to back more than an inch.
Strap in Your Kids Securely
Just as the car seat needs to be tightly secured in the car, so too your kids need to be tightly strapped inside. Confirm that harness straps lie flat and are not twisted. Keep the chest strap at the level of your baby’s armpits. Remove bulky clothing, like winter coats, that require you to loosen straps.
Get Support from a Car Seat Inspection Station
To be certain your car seat is properly installed, get it checked by a local inspector. A car seat safety technician can look at your specific car and seats to confirm that everything is properly installed. Call local fire stations or police stations to see if there’s a certified inspector available, or visit SaferCar.gov for more info.
About the Author: Natalie Saldana Vice President Sales Southwest has been with Estrella Insurance since August of 2011. She is a self motivated team player who enjoys creating sales orientated teams and works closely with our customers. Natalie oversees the Texas, Arizona, and Nevada markets. Outside of work Nat enjoys camping & the outdoors, and her favorite activities always include spending time with her husband and three children.
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