I know this topic is talked about constantly in the parenting world, but truly it is so vital to never stop talking about it. Recently I re-stumbled upon a mom’s experience about losing her son in a car accident because he could escape his carseat like crazy. No matter what style she strapped him in or carseat he used. Then this all happened. Tragedy. It’s really hard for me to let these things go. Not because she did anything wrong, but because she tried and still she had to say goodbye to her son.
Now her story isn’t about car seat safety at all, but it was definitely a reminder for me to appreciate my babies. Unexpected things can happen at ANY moment.
It also lead me back to why car seats were made in the first place, and as to what purpose they serve. It literally is to save the lives of our babies in the event of an accident.
I don’t look for car seats based on convenience (although yeah that’d be a plus), but I look for car seats based on what seat can provide maximum safety for my child(ren).
More expensive doesn’t always mean that it provides more protection.
What I am searching for when looking at buying a carseat for my child, is what features accommodate my crazy child best.
Does he still need to be rear facing?
Does his seat need to be a 5 point harness system?
If he is forward facing, does the seat have an anchor?
If it’s a booster seat does it have a high back booster support?
Will it grow with my child?
And so on…
Cupholders are nice, but don’t provide extra safety. The cool light buttons for the child that wants to read in the car? That’s nice, but not a must have.
It’s an exciting time to switch your kids around into a different car seat, I get it. But if it can wait, it should. Just because laws in certain areas say it’s okay to do x, y, z in regards to children in carseats, it doesn’t mean you have to. Those laws are giving you bare minimum requirements to get away with certain circumstances. Mainly it’s because they understand that SOME children develop differently.
Now my kids run on the small side. My eldest was in a 5 point harness until the age of 6. But before I learned anything about car seats I did everything wrong. EVERYTHING.
Her chest clip in pictures from when she was 1? At her belly button or not clipped at all.
During the winter, puffy jackets. Leading to again no chest clips.
I placed her in a booster seat, with no high back, at the age of 3.
Then when she was 4 yrs old, I began to learn more.
No one told me this stuff before. I just assumed that she was in a car seat and that that was all that mattered.
I truly wish someone told me what they saw so I could have changed things sooner. I am absolutely grateful we were never in an accident because I KNOW it wouldn’t have ended well at all.
Now as for my son Michael, he turns 3 in November and is currently rear facing. I have zero issues with it, he has zero issues with it. His car seat has a minimum and a maximum limit on weight and height. I use that as a guide line for physical development, but based on his maturity and ability, I often refer myself to Car Seats for the Littles website to check if he is ready for the next step or not.
They have awesome articles explaining so many different and exciting topics regarding car seats. Like when to make the switch from a 5 point harness to a high back booster. Or articles on extended rear facing. So many different things. So feel free to check them out to see what you do or don’t already know. What is recommended currently for your child(ren). No harm in learning more if you can right? I mean, it can literally save their life.
Just don’t psych yourself out during this process.
Just ask yourself: Is this something my child is truly ready for? Then mark off all of the check marks on what standards you hold yourself to when it comes to the safety of your child(ren) and their needs. It’s truly the best thing you can do.
No judgement from anyone. This is between you and your child. You know them best. And in the event of an accident, just ask yourself, are you and your child safe and ready?
So to wrap this up, I’ll leave you with a reminder from the mom who lost her son,
“Mamas, hold your children tight. How blessed you are to have been entrusted with such unique, beautiful, tiny humans.”
Indeed we have been. ❤
Much love to you all. Know that I mean well. I just really wanted to say this since no one told me before until my daughter was 4. Oh how I wish I knew sooner.
For direct resources on questions about Car Seat Safety, please visit Car Seats for the Littles.