Car seats help protect
kids in case of an accident
Car Seat Recommendations
Valor Health, Emmett, Idaho – Gone are the days of laying down in the back of the station wagon on a long road trip or sitting on your mother’s lap to better view the scenery. We all have fond memories of such trips, but as road traffic increases and speeds increase, the glaring reality sets in, this is not a safe way for children to travel.
Current recommendations are that infants under 1 year be in a rear facing infant car seat. When used properly they can be lifesaving. Trouble is, proper use is estimated to be at 30%. There are many pitfalls, from the correct installation of a car seat, to the correct placement of a child in it, to the correct tightness of the buckle. We’ll review a couple of pointers here.
The chest buckle should be placed across the nipple and the straps should be tight. You can check the tightness by completing a “pinch-test”. If you are able to pinch the material between your fingers, the harness is too loose and needs to be tightened more. The baby should not have coats or blankets on under the straps and very young infants may need head supports. The back anchors should be at the level of or just below the shoulders. And as your baby grows, you will have to keep adjusting the car seat to best fit them at each stage.
Children can move to a rear facing child car seat when they outgrow their infant seat, until the age of 2 when they can be put in a front facing child car seat or booster. There is no harm in leaving a child rear-facing until he or she is big enough to be in a booster seat. Advancement to a booster seat should be when a child is both 4 years old and 40 pounds. Booster seats should be used until 4’9” tall and kids should remain in the back seat until age 13.
Dr. Robin Sebastian, Valor Health Family Medicine Physician and OB Medical Director shares, “My children won’t know the joy of laying in the back window in the sun, but their car seats have better cushions and headrests than I ever had access to. And they won’t have the skin rash from a seat belt going across their neck at just the wrong spot. The car seats will help protect them in case of an accident, which makes all fussing about being in them easier to bear. I am doing what I can to protect them in the car by following the seat recommendations and by the ultimate sacrifice, not speeding myself.”
You can always have your car seat installed by a professional! Valor Health has a certified car seat checker, as do some local fire and police stations. We are more than willing to help make sure your child is as safe as possible. Call (208) 365-3561 to speak to a specialist and ask them to check your car seats for safety.