I think our parents still marvel at all that we have to offer our children; between technology and zillions of brand names, we have choices to give our kids that they’d never dreamed of giving us. I always shake my head when I hear the stories of how babies used to be transported in the back seat in their little bassinets or “Moses” baskets, just resting on the vehicle seat without any restraints. Or how the Kids could easily be comforted by the mother while driving because, after all, they weren’t belted in anywhere.
It’s not that our parents, grandparents, and prior generations were opposed to safety; it simply didn’t exist in the form it does now. The first baby car seat to be invented was nothing more than a sack attached to the back seat with some strings. This is hardly comparable to the hundreds of options that parents of today can choose from.
Not only has what is being offered changed, but what is expected and demanded by law has also changed. Vehicle safety is an area of continuous restructuring as the government and various affiliations work to improve road safety. The sad truth is that most accidents can be prevented and this is especially saddening when you realize that most deaths of small children due to vehicular accidents are a result of being improperly restrained.
In Canada, each province may have its own child safety laws when it comes to car seat requirements just as different states have different traffic laws. It is essential that you are aware of these restrictions and requirements if you are traveling outside of your home town. Similarly, in Canada there are laws for restraining young children. Manufacturers advertise and warn parents of such restrictions, such as placing children under twelve in the front seat of a vehicle with airbags, but it is up to us to abide by and pay attention to these restrictions. If you are uncertain of the vehicle laws in your area, especially those that pertain to baby or child car seats , you can contact the traffic office, local MLA or other government agency. The importance of knowing how to install your baby’s car seat and which car seat is right for your child can not be overstated. As Mr Binky says, “knowing is half the battle”.the other half is ‘doing’!
You have a bun in the oven and you either have a car seat or you don’t. You may have an older car seat passed down by a friend or family member or you may have purchased a new one the moment you found out you were expecting. Are they both safe? Simply because everyday standards are changing and what was considered safe a few years ago is not necessarily safe today.
Can we make this easy on you and just tell you exactly which car seat is safe and perfect and wonderful? No, we can’t do that either. All we can do is equip you with the knowledge of how to choose, purchase, install and use the appropriate safety seat.
It’s not an article to tell you that you must go now and purchase the most expensive one out there. You can borrow baby or child car seats , but they should be within the current safety standard regulations. You should not borrow a car seat that is more than five years old and in fact, you should not use the same seat you used for your last child if it is more than five years old. This is a common mistake among parents and most of the time nothing happens. However, you don’t want to place bets on it most of the time. Ensure your child’s safety by being certain about the car seat’s history and quality.
You don’t just have to choose from different brand names and manufacturers or different features and options. Oh no! You also must choose from a variety of options in regards to “stages”. There are baby carriers, rear facing seats, front facing seats and boosters as well as combination and convertible seats. Keep in mind, that most of these stages are for just that; the appropriate developmental stage that your child is at. Infant carriers are to be used with newborns up to about 22 pounds, but the weight limit varies with the model and make.
The Feds recommends that children are in these seats or at the very least, in rear facing car seats until they are one year of age AND 20 pounds. Your child must have reached both milestones, according to law, to use a front facing seat. In fact, the school of thought is that as long as you can keep your child comfortable rear facing you should do so even if you surpass this requirement. This waiting time allows for the strengthening of their bones and muscles, particularly in the neck. Using a forward facing seat too soon puts your child at serious risk of injury or even death should a vehicle collision occur.