When you drive with an infant in the car, you have a great deal of responsibility. Before you ever stick the key in the ignition, it is important to ensure the safety of the car seat, which will hold your precious cargo. Here are three quick tips that are important to check before driving with an infant.
1) Always Use a Car Seat
You should use a rear-facing car seat if the infant is less than one year old and is 20 pounds or less. These seats can be a hassle, but are the safest for your infant. The safest place for the infant seat is in the middle position of the back seat. Be sure to read all instructions to make sure the seat is installed in the vehicle correctly.
2) Double-Check the Fit
This may sound silly, but we are so used to snapping the buckle and going that often we overlook the strap fitting. Face it, babies grow fast and the car seat needs to fit properly in order to be safe. I was always amazed at how quickly my child’s shoulders were above the level of the shoulder straps. Also, the other adjusting straps should fit snugly, but not too tight and not too loose. Make a regular habit of checking the fit of the car seat to your infant.
3) Send In the Card
When you purchase a new seat, take a couple of minutes to fill out and mail in the child restraint registration card. You may also be able to register your seat online. This way, if there is a recall you will be notified. If you are using a seat that was purchased at yard sale or perhaps a hand-me-down, you can go online and regularly check the recall list to ensure your child is riding in complete safely.