A Shocking Number of Parents Make This Car Seat Mistake
We know you can't wait to see your baby's adorable face in your rearview mirror, but that impulse may lead you to make a fatal mistake turning them face forward in their car seat too early.
In a new study, which was published in the journalAcademic Pediatrics, researchers reported that 75% of parents transition their children into forward-facing car seats way too soon. In fact, in 2013 alone, 24% of participants said that they turned their kids face forward at or before they turned 12 months.
But the CDC recommends that children should stay in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 2-years-old (24 months). And depending on their height and weight, they should stay in a forward-facing car seat until they are 5-years-old. If you're not sure when to make the switch, be sure to read your manufacturer's manual. Each car seat will have different guidelines.
So why does this all matter? Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death for children of all ages, so it's more important than ever for parents to follow safety guidelines for car seats. This below infographic from SafeCar.gov is also handy.
If you're in the market for a car seat, here are a few tips from Rachel Rothman, Technical and Engineering Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute:
Buy a car seat that is age and size appropriate. Resist the urge to deviate from this so you can better see your child or other reasons.
Make sure when installing a car seat the LATCH straps or seatbelt straps are not twisted.
A properly installed car seat should not move more than one inch from side to side and front to back.
Read the car seat instruction manual as well as the vehicle owner manual for proper installation instructions.
Be sure to check the return policy on your seats or you could be stuck with something that doesn't even fit into your car.
Delaying the change to front-facing seats as late as possible drastically improves passenger safety. So before you make the switch from rear to front, make sure your child truly has outgrown his or her car seat.
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