Good morning! How are you guys today!? I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start! We’re talking about car seat safety on the blog today, so buckle up and enjoy the riiiide! (<— Oh the puns! I just can’t help myself.)
A couple of weeks ago, I asked you guys to submit your car seat safety questions so I could pass them along to Chicco’s Child Passenger Safety Advocate and share a Q&A on the blog. The questions came rollin’ in and many of you guys had similar questions related to car seat safety. (Many of your questions were also questions I personally had for Chicco which was great! Thanks for covering my bases, friends!)
Last month was Baby Safety Month and I am partnering with Chicco to help spread the word about car seat safety to encourage parents and caregivers to keep their little ones as safe as possible. A car seat safety Q&A may be found below that incorporates your questions and at the bottom of this blog post you will find a pretty awesome giveaway for a Chicco KeyFit 30 car seat!
Now let’s get to it!
Car Seat Safety Q&A
- How long do we keep the newborn/infant inserts in the car seat?
The infant insert is the smaller contoured seat pad that fits inside your infant car seat. These pads are engineered to position a smaller baby at the correct seat angle, as well as ensure that the harness fits tightly. You can remove the insert when you feel it is no longer necessary, but it must be removed once your infant reaches 11 lbs.
- When do I need to get the next car seat up from the infant car seat? Is it by weight or height?
You may transition your child to a convertible car seat that allows them to remain rear-facing until at least two years old at any time, but must make the switch from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat when your child outgrows either the height or weight guidelines for their infant car seat.
- I can’t find anyone who will check my car seat! The local fire department, highway commission, police, etc. are no longer allowed to due to “liability concerns.” Any tips to help ensure I’ve done a good installation, or other resources I haven’t thought of?
- Is there a difference in an infant car seat and a convertible one as far as safety is concerned?
As long as your convertible car seat is being used in rear-facing mode as instructed and it’s installed correctly, your infant is protected in a convertible car seat. As a reminder, it’s recommended that child passengers be kept rear-facing until two years of age, whether that is in an infant car seat or convertible car seat.
- Why on earth do car seats expire? And will I get in trouble if I use an expired car seat?
Car seats expire for a few different, equally important reasons. First, over time, car seat technology improves and safety standards change. Additionally, materials used in car seats wear down with extended use, which could compromise safety features down the road. It’s also important to note that car seat manufacturers stop safety testing seats after a certain period of time, meaning that past expiration, manufacturers cannot guarantee how a car seat will perform in an accident.
- I heard that we shouldn’t put babies in their car seats wearing winter coats? We get some pretty COLD winters in New Jersey so I’m curious to see if there is any truth in this?
Don’t buckle your child into a car seat with bulky clothing, blankets or add-on products like a car seat bunting. The harness should be as snug as possible, and the added padding can interfere with the harness fit and crash performance of the seat. If you are using an infant carrier, put your child in the carrier and tighten the harness before you head to the car, then put blankets on your child to keep them warm. If you are using a car seat that is installed in your car, have your child take off their coat, get them in the car seat and tighten the harness, then put their coat on backwards until you arrive at your destination.
- What age/weight/height is safe to switch your little one to a forward facing car seat position?
Keep your child rear-facing in their car seat until at least two years old. Are your kid’s feet touching the seat back? Do they look a little cramped? That’s okay. Kids are a lot more flexible than adults. Kids need to stay rear-facing for as long as possible to protect their head and neck in the event of a crash. Kids do not need to be turned forward-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight of the car seat. Kids are fragile, and they are best protected rear-facing, even if that means they have a little less leg room.
- Is there a way to clean a car seat safely? I’ve heard that soaking it in water can make it unsafe…
The best way to clean car seat straps and other non-removable pieces is with mild soap and water, and then let it air dry. To simplify the process, Chicco’s line of Zip car seats include easy to remove zip-off features, such as a removable seat pad, that make clean-up a breeze.
Chicco KeyFit 30 Giveaway
And now it’s giveaway time! Chicco is giving away a KeyFit 30 car seat to one lucky PBF reader!
We absolutely love our KeyFit 30 car seat and I cannot recommend it enough. It easily clicks into our travel and jogging strollers and Chase seems comfortable and secure in it.
If you would like to be entered to win the car seat, simply leave a comment on this blog post, telling me about one thing that surprised you about pregnancy or becoming a new parent. I will randomly select a winner next Friday.
Thank you to Chicco for sponsoring this post and to all of you for your continued support. I truly appreciate it!