Keep Your Toddler Safe With These 5 Car Seat Tips
When it comes to car seats, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Should the car seat face the front of the car? Should it face the back? What’s the best type of car seat? Should you use a car seat at all? Nearly every parent has a strong opinion on the topic. Let’s cut through the controversy: here are some of the best, proven ways to keep your toddler safe in the car.
- It’s the law. First and foremost: you must have a car seat. All 50 U.S. States have laws on the books that require children under seven to use car seats. Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children in the US and many of those deaths could be prevented if the children involved had been properly restrained in the car.
- The best car seats. Your child will need a different type of car seat depending on their age and body size. When looking for a car seat, make sure to choose a seat that is optimal for your child. Also, it’s helpful to read reviews of car seats before you purchase them. Eventually, you’ll want to transition your child from a car seat to a booster seat.
- Seatbelts: always. This should go without saying, but your car seat must always be properly restrained with a seatbelt.
- Front-facing vs. rear-facing. You should keep very young children (up to the age of two) in a rear-facing car seat to prevent injury. After two years old, they should face front.
- Airbags. Airbags are an incredible automobile safety feature that have saved countless lives. However, airbags are not designed and are not optimal for children’s safety. If you have a child in a car seat, the safest place for them is in the back seat, away from your vehicle’s airbags.
With proper safety, you can rest a little easier when you and your child travel in the car. Buckle up, get a good car seat, and enjoy the ride. If you’re looking for a good place to start, visit the Indiana University School of Medicine Safety Store.