Dangerous Car Seat Mistakes

One of the most serious mistakes that new parents make is underestimating the importance of having a good car seat and learning how to use it properly. Not only does a good car seat keep your child safe when in the car, it can also protect its life in case of car accidents. Here are a few common mistakes that parents often make when dealing with car seats:

Inconsistent Safety Seat Use

Use the safety seat every single time you use the car, because you never know when a trip to the grocery store or the park near by can result in an unexpected accident. Even if the drive won't take more than five minutes, it is imperative that you secure your child properly in its car seat. Don't wait for tragedy to strike to begin to appreciate the importance of car seats. The few moments it takes to buckle your child into its safety seat can save you a lifetime of regret.

Using Old or Secondhand Seats

One thing that you don't want to be trying to save money on is the car seat. Old or secondhand car seats will not always come with the manufacturer's instructions, which are needed for seat installation information. Furthermore, they could be missing important parts, be damaged, or fall short of safety standards. In addition, plastic weakens with age, so an old seat could break in a crash. If you can't afford a new car seat, make sure that the secondhand seat you opt for comes with its original instruction manual and has all its parts. Experts recommend that secondhand safety seats should be less than five years old.

Incorrect Installation of Safety Seats

If it's not installed correctly, a safety seat will not protect your child properly. Some things you should watch out for is not buckling the car seat tightly enough. Make sure the car seat can't tip forward or from side to side more than an inch. Have an experienced friend or relative check how well you've installed the seat before entrusting your child in it if you're installing it for the first time.

Allowing Children to Ride in the Front

This is another serious oversight that parents commit; by placing your child in your lap with you in the front seat or allowing it to ride in the seat up front on its own, even if it has its seatbelt on, you're exposing it to fatal danger. Nothing is safer for your preschooler than being strapped into its safety seat at the back. No matter how much your child pleads to be allowed to sit in the front, don't give in; as the responsible parent, you should know better.

Holding a Child on the Lap

As tempting as it might be to place your child on your lap for that quick ride to a friend's house or to the grocery store, don't do it! Even if you're sitting in the back and you're holding onto your child tightly, a strong collision could make you lose your grip, not to mention the force could rock both of you forward, resulting in serious injury.