Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go. We all know that the rules get a little, shall we say, “overlooked” at the grandparents’ house – especially during the holidays (or summer vacations). But there is one hard and fast rule at our house. Car seats are not optional. There is no flexibility, not even a little wiggle room. Nada, none!
I’ve always been somewhat of a safety Nazi anyway, but after my husband went to work in the injury prevention field, I may have gotten a little worse (or better, depending on how you look at it). However, I do feel completely justified. As part of his job duties, he attends State child fatality review hearings. These meetings are hard. The stories are gut wrenching and the most heart-breaking cases are the ones that were most likely preventable.
I like to keep things light-hearted over here on the blog, but this is a serious subject. The facts are conclusive – car seats save lives. It’s not enough to just have a car seat. The right car seat, for the right age, with proper installation and consistent usage is what makes them so effective at keeping kids safe. It’s a little more involved than running to the nearest baby store and picking out the one with the cutest pattern. Do you need an infant seat, a convertible seat, or a booster seat? Wait, what? The type of car, the age, weight and height of the child are all important factors in this decision. Thankfully there are a number of resources that can guide you through the process. Parent Central on the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website has a wealth of information.
There are many good options, but after extensive research, visits to the manufacturing plant, and a lot of discussion with my husband (our resident certified expert in car seats), we chose the Britax USA Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat and the Britax B Safe Elite 35 Infant Car Seat with additional base. Thankfully, we haven’t personally had to put the safety standards to the test, but I do feel comfortable that we have the best car seats available for our crew of five grands – and one more on the way.
Lastly, every state has certified child passenger safety technicians who can either properly install the car seat for you, check to make sure you have installed it properly, and/or educate you on proper installation. Take advantage of this resource. Click here to find a technician near you.
There’s no better time to be safe rather than sorry.