Buckling Up Baby: Child Car Seat Safety

Buckling Up Baby Child Car Seat Safety

Every year in Canada, close to 10,000 children tragically lose their lives or sustain injuries in road accidents. As a responsible parent, ensuring the safety and well-being of your child should always be a top priority, especially during car journeys, no matter how short. To provide optimal protection, it is crucial to ensure that your child is securely and correctly buckled-up in the car, with the utmost care and attention. Remember to always place your children in the back seat of the vehicle as it is widely regarded as the safest location for them. With that in mind, here are some valuable tips to help you prioritize car seat safety and safeguard your precious ones on the road.


Mom buckling up baby in a car seat


Learn the stages of child car seat safety

There are four stages of child safety for vehicles. You’ll need to learn the stages and use the appropriate method to strap the child in.

Stage 1: Your child falls in this stage if he’s 40lb or less or outgrows the height limits of the child seat. In this stage, you’ll need a rear-facing seat that’s positioned at a 45-degree angle to support your baby’s head. The angle also makes it easier for the baby to breathe. The seat should have a snug harness that will keep your baby safe if you stop suddenly or crash. The appropriate safety features will not only protect your child’s life but also remove obstacles to getting your car insurance claim approved.

Stage 2: This stage is best for children who are between 22-65lbs and meet the height limits of the seat. At this stage, you can upgrade your rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat. The seat should have a harness to strap the child in. Usually, this harness is narrower than the seat belts in vehicles in order to fit around children’s small shoulders.

Stage 3: If your child is over 40 lbs and exceeds the height limits of the seats in the previous stages, you can upgrade the seat to a booster seat. This seat is designed for children who no longer need the forward-facing seat. The booster will position the child in the seat so the vehicle’s seat belt could be correctly located on the shoulder and lap.

Stage 4: Eliminate the child’s safety seats and use seat belts when your child is tall enough to position the straps over his shoulder and lap.

Choose the stage that is right for your child

To choose the appropriate stage for your child, it is recommended to refer to the weight limits provided above. These weight limits are commonly listed on child seats available in stores today. In addition to weight limits, it is crucial to consider the height limits as well. Keep in mind that every child seat may have different specifications, so it is important to carefully read the labels, especially when switching between different models or brands. Before purchasing, ensure that your child meets the height and weight requirements specified for the child safety seat. Taking these factors into account will help ensure your child’s safety and secure a suitable seating arrangement.

Important: Your safest course of action is to keep your child in each stage for as long as you possibly can – without exceeding the limits of the seat.

Final thoughts and reminders

Remember that the seat is only as reliable as the care you take to buckle your child in securely. It is crucial to ensure that the seat is correctly installed, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and that your child is properly buckled-in with the harness adjusted to their size. After purchasing each seat, take the time to fill out and send in the product registration card. This way, in the unlikely event of a recall, the manufacturer will be able to promptly and directly contact you to ensure your child’s safety.

Robert is a former pediatrician, and father of five. Now retired, he spends his days restoring old cars and his nights blogging on automobile and safety websites.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *