Infant safety seats: what to know to use them right

Countless decisions go into the pending birth of a child. From clothes to cribs and other essentials, parents must ensure that everything they purchase has the highest standards of safety.

One product in particular that is paramount in securing a newborn’s health and well-being is an infant car seat. Many parents prefer the kind that allows them to take the sleeping baby out of the car and easily transfer the child into a stroller.

However, that luxury level could put a newborn’s well-being at risk if you don’t ensure that it is properly installed every time it is moved in or out of the car.

Do’s and don’ts

The Child Passenger Safety Technicians at Consumer Reports and the American Academy of Pediatrics provide the following “do’s and don’ts” to ensure the safety and security of children in car seats. Common sense should prevail, starting with keeping the infant seat in the back, not the front row, where airbags could deploy in the event of a crash.

Rear-facing is paramount due to the infant’s head and spine receiving significantly more protection should an accident occur. Also, when installing the seat, check the recline angle – via an indicator on the base or carrier itself – to ensure that children are tilted to avoid their heads falling forward, restricting their airways. Conversely, over-reclining increases the possibility of injury.

Parents prefer to keep their kids entertained, particularly during longer drives where infants can get restless and start crying. The temptation towards toys is understandable but choose carefully what you put in the car seat with your child. A sudden crash can turn the entertaining item into a dangerous projectile.

Additional “don’ts” include:

  • Avoiding thick winter coats.
  • Using the top of a grocery cart to place an infant.
  • Equating a car seat to a crib.
  • Leaving the car seat on elevated/soft surfaces.

Nothing is more important than the well-being of a newborn or a child of any age. Parents must attend to all the details when it comes to their safety.

Skip to content