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. That is why it is extremely important to know that you are installing the car seat correctly and keeping your little one safe and sound.
UAE law made the use of car safety seats compulsory for children up to 4 years of age. This was established in July, 2017. In other countries, this law extends to children up to 12 years old. At those ages, children are still at risk. They need to be boosted high enough for the vehicle’s lap. Their shoulder belts must be able to fit them correctly and restrain them safely. That is why such laws exist.
What do I need to know about installing the car seat?
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. If parents install the car seat incorrectly, it will leave their children unsafe. It will also greatly increase the risk of serious injury to toddlers and children. The latter is 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 you installed it correctly. An alarming number of parents make major mistakes when installing infant car seats. They don’t position 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.”
There are plenty of common mistakes parents make when installing a car seat.
1| Installing the car seat too loosely in the vehicle.
The most common mistake is securing the car seat too loosely against the vehicle seat. Parents need to achieve a firm and secure fit. This requires extra force to ensure the car safety seat is tight enough in case of an accident. Test this by giving the car a firm shake with your hands after you install it. It shouldn’t move more than 2 cm in any direction.
2| Having the wrong recline angle.
Another common mistake is not having the correct recline angle in the rear-facing position. Generally, the proper recline angle is 45-degree. This is important because it protects the baby’s spine in the event of a crash. It does so 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’s NextFit Zip Convertible Baby Car 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. It helps parents achieve a firm fit without an overload of effort while the unique Bubble level indicators. Those indicators let parents know they installed it in the correct angle and the 9 recline positions ensure parents find the right recline angle no matter what kind of car they have.
3| Not adjusting the harness correctly
The harness positioned too high is another common mistake made by parents when securing their baby inside the car seat. Parents should adjust the harness to the baby’s shoulder level. The more options available for harness position the better because as the child grows parents will need to adjust the harness 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. It prevents and reduces the risk of serious injuries and fatalities in children in case of accidents. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s & vehicle instructions carefully before installing your car seat because each 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!
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