Avoiding child car seat safety mistakes

Safety first, words to live by but even more so when it comes to the safety of your children. Parents and caregivers shudder at the notion of not having the protection of a well-made, properly installed children's car seat for their little ones.

Likely hours have been spent researching the right seat to buy, consulting books, websites and asking friends. Once you've made the choice of car seats, you read the manual and install the seat with painstaking care.

Then if you're extra cautious you may even perform live action testing using a doll or stuffed toy to make sure your child can be strapped in the seat securely and also released.

Yet despite all of these precautions, steps may still be missed along the way. Here are six child car seat safety tips to consider to help keep your little ones well protected:

  1. No used goods
    Unless the car seat comes from a trusted friend you won’t know the seats history. We’re not talking about how many times the seat was sick upon but rather if it was ever involved in a car crash? While the seat may look perfectly good on the outside, if it has withstood a crash, the integrity of the seat may have been jeopardised and may not properly protect a child in the event of a crash.

  2. New for old
    While we’re on the topic, most child car seats need to be replaced if they were in the car when a crash occurred. When you have MORE TH>N comprehensive car insurance we’ll replace child car seats that have been involved in a crash covered under your policy even if there is no apparent damage. You’ll want to confirm the circumstances with us and we’ll reimburse you for the new seat.

  3. No bundling up those bundles of joy
    A car seat harness needs to be taut around your little ones bodies to keep them properly protected. Bulky clothing can prevent the harness from being as tight as it should be, so thick or heavy coats should be removed when they get into the car. You can tuck a blanket around your child over the harness to keep them snug if needs be.

  4. Don’t move them up and out too fast
    As parents it’s exciting to have your children move to the next milestone. In the world of car seats that milestone mistake is moving a baby to a forward facing car seat before they are ready. New regulations put into place called i-Size dictate that children should stay rear facing until they are at least 15 months old.

  5. They need a little boost
    A good rule of thumb is children 4’ 9” and under should be in a high back booster seat. The extra boost lifts them up higher so that the seat belt rests at the correct height and the high back helps prevent injuries with added protection.

  6. Keep them reined in
    Double check the seat is not too loose. A loose fitting car seat is not as much of a problem with ISOFIX seats, however car seats installed with seat belts are not as straightforward. Always follow the installation instructions properly, then put your knee in the seat and give the belt a good pull to make sure it’s in there as tight as possible.

For added reassurance Good Egg Safety runs events throughout the country to check if car seats are installed correctly.

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