Posted by Annabelle Healy ·
Last Updated: September 28, 2021
Car seat safety isn’t the most thrilling challenge for new parents, but the more equipped you are to protect your child, the easier it will be. I spent a week reading all the articles I could find on car seat safety facts, and I found a ton. But I only wanted to feature the facts most mommas don’t know yet.
I’m not a car seat expert though, and I couldn’t decide which ones to include. So I asked the biggest expert I know on car seat safety: my own momma. She’s been through countless car seats with all six of us, and she definitely knows her stuff. Here are the facts even she didn’t know, after being a mom for almost 20 years:
You can register your car seat. By filling out the registration form for your car seat, you can be notified if it’s recalled (which happens more often than you think!). Usually car seats will have a registration card included in the original packaging, or an online form you can fill out. You can also visit the Department of Transportation to check if your car seat has been recalled.
The chest clip on a harness should always be at armpit level, not nipple level. My mom didn’t know this one! It’s a subtle change that could make the difference between your child being injured in a car crash and being safe. Keeping the chest clip at armpit level protects your child’s sternum, ensures the shoulder straps stay on correctly, and keeps your kiddo from leaning forward. If the chest clip is too low, it could injure their internal organs. Make sure it’s high enough!
Convertible car seats and all-in-one car seats have higher weight and height limits when they are facing backwards, so they work better for bigger babies and toddlers. Is your baby a chunker? A convertible or all-in-one car seat might be the better (and more cost-effective) option for them. Sure, convertible and all-in-one car seats are clunkier and harder to move between vehicles, but they could last much longer if your kiddo is already pushing the limits of a regular backward-facing car seat.
The impact your child feels in a car crash can be calculated by multiplying their weight with the speed you were driving. This means if my littlest sister got in a car crash driving at just 30 mph, a force of over 120 lbs. would impact her, which shocked my mom. That’s like me dropping down on her. Thankfully, seatbelts are made to withstand 1,000 lbs. of sudden force, so it’s still super important to buckle up even on those slow neighborhood roads.
The best car seat is ...(drumroll please!)... the one that’s used correctly. Okay, my mom did know this one, but it’s a good reminder. There’s no guaranteed way to protect your child, but a correctly used car seat can save lives. Accidents happen, and not everything is in our hands. But it does not mean you are a bad mom if something bad happens. The best thing you can do is to do what you can: making sure your car seats are correctly used.
For more car seat safety facts, I found ASecureLife to be the most helpful:-) Happy driving!