16 Car Seat Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Did you know that your child runs the risk of being ejected from a forward-facing car seat if a) the chest clip is fastened too low; b) it’s not fastened at all; c) the harness straps are too loose; and/or d) she is wearing bulky clothing under the straps?

photo: MIKI Yoshihito, Creative Commons

photo: MIKI Yoshihito, Creative Commons

Car accidents continue to be the leading cause of injuries and fatalities for children in North America. However, current statistics report only one out of four kids is safely buckled into a car seat. Hello! That’s an alarming disconnect. There appears to be more concern over genetically modified apples than over taking simple steps to ensure kids are safe in high-speed metal and glass boxes that crash a lot.

There’s a lot of information out there, so Mohammad Bhorat, child passenger safety educator, certified CPST, and owner of Baby Car Seat Installers, has compiled a list of essential car seat tips based on common, easily avoidable mistakes.

16 Avoidable Car Seat Errors

1. using a car seat inconsistently

2. using an expired car seat

3. using a damaged car seat

4. facing seat forward too early

5. rushing child into booster seat

6. transitioning to seat belt too soon

7. mixing car seats & bulky clothing

8. forgetting to adjust harness straps as child grows

9. thinking loose or twisted straps are safe enough

10. fastening chest clip below chest

11. misuse of lock clip

12. misuse of tether strap

13. holding child in lap in moving car

14. allowing 2 kids to 1 seat belt

15. allowing small children in front w/ active air bags

16. installing car seat incorrectly

And here’s a convenient infographic of the above car seat safety information to pin, print, and share. Put it on your website, fridge, share it with everyone who drives your children. Avoiding these 16 child passenger safety mistakes can save lives!

Tuned In Parents 16 Avoidable Car Seat Errors by Baby Car Seat Installers

Car Seat Shaming

A final note on a new phenomenon that’s undermining child passenger safety awareness. It’s called car seat shaming. You know when you learn something new and important — like child safety info — and go to share it with someone else, but they act as if you called CPS on them? That’s not normal. When someone has that reaction, they don’t see car seat safety as important, because if they did, they would react as you did: act to improve their child’s safety and spread the word to help more precious, little passengers.

If a “car seat shaming” parent’s child was drowning, (s)he would want you to act, not mind your own business, right? Just like “drowning shaming” isn’t a real thing, car seat shaming is ridiculous. More children die every year in cars than in water. Regardless of the situation, as parents we should always look out for each other and each other’s children. Period.

If you believe in this and live by it, you are more than a parent. You are also an advocate of parents.

Thank you for being tuned in parents. And a special thanks to Baby Car Seat Installers for these vital tips! I welcome your comments, suggestions, and more tips (can’t wait to share YOURS)! There’s more for you, too, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

-Elle C.

Reference: Mohammad Bhorat, certified CPST and child passenger safety educator, www.carseatinstallers.com

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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