Experts offer tips on car seat safety

Car seats are integral in baby safety in the car, but if not used properly can be just about useless or more harmful.

Car seats are integral in baby safety in the car, but if not used properly can be just about useless or more harmful.

“A lot of parents don’t read their manuals or really know how to use their car seat, they think it’s straightforward and that there are no tricks to using it properly, but there are,” said registered car seat safety technician Abby Wah.

Wah said part of what parents don’t understand is a car seat’s limitations including weight, height and developmental level.

“Carseats each have their own weight and height restrictions, so parents and care givers need to make sure they follow those closely. The restrictions change depending on if you’re using an infant bucket seat, a rear facing seat, a front facing seat or a booster,” said Wah.

She added that if parents are unsure about their own seat, to refer to their manual or find a registered car seat safety technician in their area.

With winter’s arrival, Wah said the most important thing for people to remember when putting their child in a car seat is that winter jackets are not appropriate to be worn while the child is strapped in.

“They create the illusion that the straps are tight, but coats squish. If you get in an accident, the force of the impact will compress the jacket further, creating a pocket where your child can move around.”

This movement in the seat on impact can cause injuries like whiplash, concussions, broken bones, and most severely, death.

“Children’s bones and bodies are brittle and fragile until everything is fully fused. This doesn’t happen until they are much older, closer to five years old. Until this time, we need to do everything in our power to protect them.”

Wah said the best way to utilize a winter jacket in a car seat is to buckle the child in without the coat first, snug the straps tight, and then put their coat on backwards over their arms.

Some other basic things that Wah said are important to remember include the pinch test, the chest-clip and the importance of rear-facing car seats.

“The pinch test is what it sounds like, pinch the strap above the chest clip. If you can grab material, the straps are too loose. The chest clip also is exactly what it sounds like, a clip that is meant to be on your child’s chest.”

The chest clip should line up with your child’s armpits at all ages, and Wah said this is one of the most important things a parent can remember.

Without the chest clip in the proper position, a child can potentially be thrown from their car seat in a collision.

Wah also said that parents who aren’t sure if their child should be rear facing or front facing should ask themselves a few questions.

“If your child can stay rear-facing, keep them that way. It’s safer for them. To move front facing each seat has different qualifications but most of them say one year, over a certain weight and height, and able to walk without assistance.”

For more information, visit www.carsafetyandkids.ca.

 

Just Posted

Generals run away in third to win 5-2 over Ft. Sask

Lacombe looking for the four-game sweep in Ft. Sask on Sunday

Community invited to check out local Toastmasters’ group

New members are sought for the Club to continue past March

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr talks tourism opportunities at Chamber lunch

Stakeholders must take advantage of the Lacombe region’s many selling points

Alberta judge cleared in case where sex assault victim was shackled, jailed

Judicial council: Judge Raymond Bodnarek acted on Crown’s advice, tried to minimize victim’s hardship

Breton/Thorsby RCMP investigate theft of boat

RCMP say stolen jet boat and trailer valued at approximately $80,000

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Three-car pile-up on Northstar Drive and 58th Street

No injuries reported at Thursday afternoon incident

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Sask. school shooter to be sentenced as adult

The man was just shy of his 18th birthday when he killed four people and injured seven others

Most Read