It comes as no surprise that infants and children are less likely to get injured and can even survive death in car accidents when secured correctly in the right car safety seat. According to a study in traffic safety, car seats reduce a baby’s risk of injury and death by 71% and 54% for children ages 1-4 years.
In July 2017, UAE law made the use of car safety seats compulsory for children up to 4 years of age. In other developed countries the legal age obligation is up to 10-12 years because children under this age are still at risk and need to be boosted high enough for the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts to fit them correctly and restrain them safely.
Installing a car seat can be a confusing and challenging task, especially for new parents. A new research found that the majority of parents make mistakes when securing the infant car seat. Parents incorrectly securing the infant car seat can greatly increase the risk of serious injury to toddlers and children, according to Rouba Matari, Middle East Marketing Manager of Chicco, a leading children’s safety products brand.
“A car seat can only offer the needed protection for your baby if it is installed correctly. An alarming number of parents make major mistakes when installing infant car seats and not positioning their newborns correctly in them and they don’t even know it. But fortunately, education can make a big difference when it comes to keeping the baby safe on the road...”
One of the most common installation mistakes parents do is securing the car seat too loosely against the vehicle seat. Achieving a firm and secure fit requires extra force to ensure the car safety seat is tight enough and can restrain the child in the event of an accident. When installed correctly, the car safety seat shouldn’t move more than 2 cm in any direction when you give the seat a firm shake with your hands.
Another common mistake is not having the correct recline angle in rear-facing position. Generally, the proper recline angle is 45-degree. It is crucial to achieve a proper recline position because it protects the baby’s spine in the event of a crash by distributing the force of impact across the entire body.
Infant Car seat manufacturers are continuously working on improving the safety features of car seats to help parents achieve a safer and more accurate installation. Chicco NextFit iX convertible seat is a perfect example of the new innovations in infant car seats. Chicco’s easy-to-install technologies such as the LockSure & SuperCinch®Force-multiplying LATCH tightener help parents achieve a firm fit without an overload of effort while the unique Bubble level indicators let parents know when the car seat is installed in the correct angle and the 9 recline positions ensure parents find the right recline angle no matter what kind of car they have.
The harness positioned too high is another common mistake made by parents when securing their baby inside the car seat. The harness needs to be adjusted to the baby’s shoulder level, the more options available for harness position the better because as the child grows the harness needs to be adjusted to his physique so the more options you have the more accurately you can achieve a correct fit. The Chicco NextFit iX has 9 harness positions, the highest seen on convertible seats, this helps parents achieve the correct installation position at the different growth stages of your child making it an excellent choice for long-term use.
Making sure the child car seat is fitted firmly and correctly in the car and using age and size-appropriate car seats is crucial in preventing and reducing the risk of serious injuries and fatalities in children caused by road accidents. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s & vehicle instructions carefully before installing your car seat because each child car seat/vehicle can be different and may require specific attention.
For more on car seat safety check out How to choose the right car seat for your little one!