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Toddler Car Seat Safety Tips

Hitting the road with your toddler? Make sure you follow these toddler car seat safety tips to keep your toddler safe and sound while you are driving.

Always Read and Follow Directions

Even if you feel like tossing out the manual, it is very important that you understand how to correctly install a toddler car seat. After all, you are taking your precious one’s safety into consideration so might as well pick up that hefty manual and start reading. A car seat instruction manual will make installation easier for you. Plus, it helps you learn the do’s and don’ts as well as the best way to utilize your toddler’s car seat. Also, different models of cars have a different installation process. Older models do not have car seat shoulder belts while newer ones have the LATCH system.

Position The Car Seat In The Right Spot

A toddler car seat cannot protect your toddler if it is installed incorrectly. Place your toddler’s car seat rear-facing and in the middle of the back seat. This is the safest spot since it has no air bags and it offers the best protection for your toddler’s head, neck and spine. Position it that way until he is 2 years old or once he reaches the car seat’s weight limit. Never put a car seat on the front seat as this will only risk your toddler’s safety.

Keep The Straps Tight

Always make sure you buckle up your toddler. See to it you adjust the harness correctly to ensure a snug fit. The straps must be at or below your toddler’s shoulders. Use the retainer clips connected to the harness band and fasten them at armpit level to prevent the straps from sliding off your toddler’s shoulders. Make sure the harness and the straps are even and untwisted against your toddler’s chest and over his hips. Straps should be tight enough, not allowing more than an inch of movement from front to back or side to side.

Buckle Up

So you already secured the car seat’s harness to your toddler but have you buckled the car seat into the car? This is a common mistake parents overlook because of confusion or during hectic days. Stop making this mistake by double-checking to ensure that the car seat is buckled tightly to the car each time you put your toddler in his seat.

Recline Your Toddler At The Correct Angle

In the rear-facing position, recline the car seat at a 45-degree angle. Use the manual as your reference. Reclining your baby at the correct angle stops your toddler’s head from flopping forward. If the car seat does not come with cushioned inserts, roll a towel or a blanket and place them at the sides and around your toddler’s head and neck.

Delay Moving His Car Seat To A Forward-facing Position

Stop the urge to place your toddler’s car seat in the forward-facing position just so you can see him in your rear-view mirror. Toddlers have large heads and weak necks so in a head-on collision, the impact can cause your toddler’s head to jerk forward resulting to serious head and spinal injuries.

A toddler car seat is the safest way to protect your toddler when traveling. But beyond that, it is also crucial that you follow correct usage to avoid common car seat mistakes to ensure your child a happy ride.

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