7 Common Baby Car Seat Safety Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Car Seat Safety Mistakes

Many parents are too obsessed with making sure their homes are safe for their children as much as possible. Adding table edge guards, keeping anything sharp away from their child’s reach and many more. While there’s nothing wrong with this, mummies and daddies should also ensure that their cars are safe for their children.

Having a car seat is only the first step in keeping your kids protected while travelling with you. It is meant to keep them safe and comfortable when you take them out for a ride. But, if it is not used correctly, you would be putting them in a risky situation.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the common baby car seat safety mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Mistake 1: Car seat is not properly installed

7 Common Car Seat Safety Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

This is the most common error that parents make. Either they were not able to install it correctly or the car seat is not compatible with their vehicle. A car seat won’t be able to do what it is meant for if it is not installed properly. You must follow instructions on how to install your car seat and check if it is secured before hitting the road.

Some car seats are required to be installed with an ISOFIX, with the vehicle seat belt or a combination of both. Many parents might find installing the car seat with the seat belt a complicated task or they could be in a rush that they skip inspecting if the seat is already in place.

How can this be avoided?

Never buy a car seat that can’t be installed in your vehicle. Make sure that what you are getting is something that can be fitted properly in your car. Read your car seat manual and follow the instructions on how to properly install the car seat. It may take some time and practice to do this effortlessly, but it is definitely worth the trouble.

Mistake 2: The safety harness is not tight enough

The safety harness is designed to keep your child safely in the seat under any condition. Some parents may think that their child might feel uncomfortable if it is too tight so they loosen it a bit. This can cause your child to be thrown out of the seat in case of an impact. So even if your car seat is tightly secured, your child will still be at risk.

The same goes when the safety harness is too tight. This can cause discomfort to your child. Finding the right tightness can put your mind at ease and give your little one a smooth and comfortable ride.

How can this be avoided?

Once you have buckled your child in the car seat, try to pinch the harness straps above your child’s collarbone. If you can pinch the straps between your fingers, the straps aren’t tight enough. Readjust the straps and do it again until you’re not able to hold the straps when you squeeze them.

Mistake 3: Not removing your child’s heavy outerwear

If your child has to wear thick clothing because it is the cold season or you’re taking your child to attend a party, it is not safe to just buckle them to the car seat right away. Even when you have fastened the safety harness tight enough, your child may still not be protected. Your child can slip right through it during a crash because the straps are tightened around their clothes and not on them.

Do this test. Secure and tighten the straps while your child is wearing bulky clothes. Unbuckle without adjusting the straps. Remove their outerwear and secure them again in the car seat. You would notice that there is a bigger gap between them and the straps. Loose straps are not safe.

How can this be avoided?

Before you strap them in the car seat, make sure to remove your child’s jacket or heavy outerwear first. If your child gets cold, you can use a cozy blanket to keep them warm. You can also have them wear comfy clothes first and have them change into their party dress or costume when you get to your destination.

Mistake 4: Switching to front-facing too soon

Some parents switch their babies to the forward-facing position earlier than what is recommended. They want to be able to see what and how their babies are doing, especially if there’s no one else in the backseat with them. Mummies and daddies could feel anxious if they stop hearing their child cooing or if they start to cry. There could be other reasons why they would shift the seat to face forward but don’t do it too soon.

Your little one’s body is still developing. Their bodies are not yet strong enough to take any impacts during a crash. It is important to keep your baby in the rear-facing position for as long as possible or until they reach the maximum weight and height limit for the rear-facing position. This can be around when they reach the age of 2. Read your car seat manual to know more.

How can this be avoided?

If you are travelling alone with your baby, avoid taking them for long rides or have planned stopovers so you can check on your baby. If you have an option, never travel alone with your little one and ask someone to sit with them at the back of the car.

Mistake 5: Not checking the recline angle

Most babies will sleep through your trip and it is sensible to keep the car seat in a lie-flat position while they do. But there will be times that they will be awake too. Some parents reposition the car seat to a more upright position during these times so they can play and interact with them.

Keeping your little one in a semi-upright position can cause strain on their neck and back and can restrict airflow, especially for younger babies. Adjusting the car seat to the right recline angle will prevent your child’s head from flopping forward that can result in discomfort or injury.

How can this be avoided?

Check your car seat manual to know the age and weight appropriate recline for your child. Most seats have angle recline guides to help you know the right tilt angle for the car seat. Follow this guide to make sure you’re providing your child with comfort and protection. If you feel that your baby needs to stretch out a bit, make a quick stop and take them out of the car seat.

Mistake 6: Moving to a booster seat too early

Transitioning to the next seat stage too soon may be harmful to your child. Even if they seem to be too old for the car seat, don’t be tempted to move them to a booster seat just yet. Your child may not have reached the specific height and weight requirement for them to be safely seated to a booster.

Your vehicle’s seat belts are designed for an average adult height. If your child has not reached the recommended size, the shoulder belt will not be in the best position to keep your child safe. If the seat belt crosses over their face or neck, it is not yet the right time to get them a seat upgrade.

How can this be avoided?

Don’t move your child to a booster seat as soon as they reach the minimum height/weight requirements. Parents are advised to keep their children restrained in a car seat for as long as possible or until they reached the maximum height and weight limits.

Mistake 7: Getting a second-hand car seat without researching

It is also common for some parents to use a hand-me-down or buy a second-hand car seat. Especially if they think that they wouldn’t be using it very often. Though this is usual for some, few parents forget to check vital information like the manufacture date and model number. It is very important to know these to identify if the seat is already expired or if it has been recalled.

Older car seats tend to have a history of damage and degrade over time. This may mean that it may no longer meet and deliver the expected safety compared to when it was initially bought. If you can, it is best to invest in a brand new car seat from a reputable brand to make sure that your child is completely safe in your vehicle.

How can this be avoided?

If you’re getting a used car seat. Do your research. Most car seats come with a label indicating the manufacture date and model number. Use this information to check if the seat is older than 6 years or if it has been recalled before using or buying it. Also, if it has signs of damage or has missing parts, don’t take the risk.

Here at SuperMom, we aim to help you make the right decision. So, we have rounded up 10 of the best baby car seats in Singapore today to help you to find the best baby car seat in Singapore for you and your baby. Do check out some of our popular buying guides as well:

10 Best Baby Strollers in Singapore
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Compare and get the best prices for baby car seats in Singapore at SuperMom now!

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