School is back in full swing, and as parents, most of us are running around trying to get to different school and activity drop-offs and picks-up and often-times carpooling different children in our vehicles of different weights and heights. As a seasoned mom of 2 who has installed a myriad of car seats, I thought I knew it all (spoiler alert, I had a lot to learn!)
I recently had the opportunity to become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. When I started this 4 day training, I was skeptical of what knowledge I would gain, but by the end I was really blown away by what I learned and also to discover that I was making several common mistakes when it came to both car seat usage and installation. I am sharing with you some of these very common mishaps that occur to help you keep your little ones (and their friends) safe this fall while on the road!
Forward facing using LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) – there are 2 common mistakes in this scenario:
- Using both the lower anchors and seat belt for a car seat installation. You may think that 2 ways of securing the child and car seat are better than one, but in fact the performance of the car seat in the event of a crash may be negatively affected by using both the lower anchors and the seat belt at the same time. NOTE: You always want to use the upper tether when possible for forward-facing installation, whether the installation is with the lower anchors or the seat belt.
- Keeping a child secured in the 5 point harness and using the LATCH system past the weight allowed. There are LATCH weight limits so be sure to check the manual of your car seat manufacturer to see what these weight limits are.
Moving your child to a booster seat: Your child may be ready to move into a belt-positioning booster seat once they have outgrown their forward facing harnessed car seat. Your child must meet the minimum height, weight and age requirements – but, (and this is what many parents forget about) they also must be mature enough to keep the seat belt properly positioned for your entire car ride. If they are moving frequently and the belt isn’t staying in place, then you should consider keeping them in a harnessed car seat that has a higher weight limit until they are really ready!
Carpooling and extra car seats: Most busy parents who are frequently carpooling other kids around will keep an extra car seat or booster seat in their car. I, for one, never thought about the importance of keeping these extra car seats secure when not in use. A 10lb booster seat can become a dangerous projectile inside the vehicle in a crash or sudden stop. So make sure you secure all car seats even when not in use! You can buckle them in with an unused seat belt or store them in the trunk of the vehicle.
The Gugu Guru team is a huge fan of Evenflo Baby’s SensorSafe technology to make life a little easier and whole lot safer. Evenflo’s patented SensorSafe™ technology connects you to your little one the entire time, in real time. It’s built into the clip of their car seats and strollers and alerts you, through the app, if babe gets unbuckled or if the temperature is too warm. When verbal communication doesn’t yet exist, this connectivity to babe’s needs is invaluable—and it is found in the products below. To learn more about their SensorSafe technology and products, check out this post.