With the spotlight on car seat safety for Road Safety Week in November, here’s how to keep your baby safe on the move.
We get it. They’re your pride and joy, the embodiment of your unconditional love and if you could you’d probably try and wrap the up in cotton wool and never leave the house. While this may be a little extreme, there are measures you can take to keep your baby as safe as possible. After the spotlight on Road Safety Week, we’ve got the lowdown on car seat safety.
According to Child Accident Prevention Trust, 12 children under 10 in the UK are killed or injured as passengers in cars every day. Although we can’t control other people’s driving, we can help you understand how to keep your little ones safe in the car and help prevent unnecessary accidents.
Car Seat Safety Checklist
To support Road Safety Week, car seat manufacturer Nuna has created a simple Car Seat Safety check list to help demystify the car seat fitting process and keep children as safe as possible on the road.
Choose the Right Car Seat
In the UK, you are required by law to buy a car seat that meets the EU standards. Your child needs to be in the correct category for their age and size. The first you’ll need to buy is a Group 0+ infant car seat, suitable from birth up to 15 months old – or 13kg – whichever happens to come first. As your baby grows into a toddler, you’ll want a convertible or a new Group 1 seat.
Asses the Harness Tension
To check car seat’s harness is tight enough, try and fit two fingers under the harness and wiggle slightly. If you can lift the shoulder strap or pinch the belt in a loop, it’s not tight enough.
Remember Rear-Facing Seats are Safest
For optimum car seat safety, it’s recommended that a child stays in a rear-facing car seat until they are four years old, or they have reached 18.5kg.
Save Lives and Check Before You Travel
Saving lives could be as simple as checking your baby’s car seat before you travel.
Ensure The Harness is the Correct Height
The harness height should be level, or slightly below your child’s shoulder in rear-facing seats and level or slightly above the child’s shoulder in forward-facing seats.
Asses the Headrest Height
Your child’s head should always be within the confines of the headrest
Take off Winter Coats
Before you buckle your baby into the car seat, take off any thick clothing like winter coats as these can bunch up and prevent the car seat straps from fastening safely.
Secure the Booster Seat (even when empty)
It’s important to keep yourself as safe as possible, too. Make sure you always secure car seats and booster seats, even if they’re empty, to prevent them from smashing into you or coming loose and distracting you.
Adjust the Harness for Each Journey
Get into the routine of lengthening the harness before clicking the release button so it’s easier to get your little one out and ready for their return too.
Fit Your Car Seat Properly
If you’re buying a car seat in-store, ask for a demonstration or take your car and get a trained member of staff to fit it for you while you watch (and take note).
Ensure the Seat Belt is Tight
Don’t forget to check it daily, it can loosen over time. You know the seat is tight enough when you flick it and it makes a noise.
Think about getting a mirror and fixing it to the headrest of the rear seat to keep up with car seat safety. This way you can see your little one – and vice versa – when they’re in a rearward car seat.
You’re in Charge
You can keep your family safe in the car by following these simple tips.
- Your Pregnancy Week by Week
- How to Baby Proof Your Home
- Millie Mackintosh and Hugo Taylor Announce Baby News