Thursday, February 14, 2013

What I Now Know About Carseats

One thing that is a huge impact on my thought & opinions is I am a nurse in a trauma & burn ICU and a pediatric emergency dept. With that said I’m sure it wont come to a surprise that I am not a fan of dirt bikes, motorcycles, guns, trains, or any other motorized injury mechanism. I have seen more than most people could even imagine happening and I’ve seen it in the worst ways. As crazy over protective as I am it really surprised me how uneducated I was on car seat safety. The lack of education given to parents is absolutely insane to me in regards to car seat safety. I consider myself a good mom who read the books and did things right through my pregnancy. I look at the safety of products for Collins, bought her a helmet at 6months in case of Alabama tornado weather, and still don’t put her on her stomach to sleep. (she rolls onto it now her self but I still obey the rules.. "Back to sleep") With that said after being in a face book group Car Seats For The Littles with Child Passenger Safety Techs (CTST) I have realized how scarily unsafe I have been and had NO knowledge of it.

I will say before I go into my PERSONAL opinions/ recommendations they are just that.. MY opinions & recommendations (I am in no way an expert) and YOU should always research your car, your car seat, and both owners manuals YOUR SELF. These are general guidelines and some great advice that I have learned through stalking the face book group and researching my self.

The first seat we started with was an infant seat. These are the car seats that you can take out of the base and pop into your stroller when you still have a tiny baby. I recommend one of these in the beginning because when Collins was asleep in the car on the way to shop or whatever I would have hated having to actually un buckle her and wake her up to put her in her stroller instead of just popping the car seat onto the stroller. Most of the infant car seats will go up to 35lbs or around 32". Notice that is 15lbs OVER what most people think is when you should turn your baby forward!! (most people think 1years old OR 20lbs). The AAP's latest recommendations for rear facing are minimum 2 year. The key word of that is MINIMUM. You don’t want to do the minimum for your child in any other aspects why do the minimum when it comes to safety? That is the last place where I would be wanting to do the least. We used the Safety 1st onboard air 35 and loved it. I liked the gender neutral black so we can reuse it if we have another baby (and it is not expired!) We also only got one infant car seat. I saw no point in buying 2 when I knew we would need two convertibles in a year or so. We bought 1 seat and 2 bases and would just pop it in/ out!

Some convertible car seats can also be used when you have a newborn however, you will not be able to pop the seat out of the base and into a stroller. Although our infant car seat goes to 35 lbs we transitioned to a convertible around 9 months because Collins was not a fan of the "bucket" position the infant car seats have. A convertible car seat can be used rear facing ( most to around 40 lbs.. some more some less) and then can be swapped to forward facing. I am not even going to begin to get into all of the different convertible car seats and their high/ low points because that would be a blog on its own (if you do have any questions email me or leave a comment and Ill let you know what I have learned). You can also join that face book group I posted earlier.. they are FANSASTIC, or you can always go here to find a tech in your area that can help! We bought the Safety 1st complete air 35 for our convertible seat and LOVE it! When picking out a convertible one just make sure you consider if your child has been on the taller/ heavier side to try to find the options that have higher weight/ height maximums.

Here are some important points you may not know:

1. NOTHING should be in your car that your would not throw at your babies head at 30mph. Scary huh? But if you are in a crash objects in your car become "projectile" and can really harm your child if they hit them. That includes strapping your babies sippy cup to your seat.

2. Do not attach anything to your seat. This includes the cute strap covers you see everywhere, the bars/ toys sold to go on the car seats, and the cute bundle me blankets.

3. DO NOT use the seat belt & LATCH system when your install your car seat. I feel horrible knowing Justin and I did this for the first 5 months of Collins' life. Yes it seems safer but in reality it is NOT!! This is in EVERY manual however if your husband installed your seat without either of you reading the manual I would go check :)

4. Nothing under the car seat. Including the seat covers/ protectors you will see sold everywhere. These make your car seat less effective. You can put a thin receiving blanket or something like that under the seat if you are really worried about it but your car seat is not going to ruin your car.

Now I know how long people keep their kids rear facing is always an argument, just like breast feeding or not, day care or not, vaccines or not and so forth. However all you have to do is watch a few videos showing you the impact/ injuries caused by both and I am pretty sure you will wanna put them rear facing.



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