Car seat safety is very important and can protect babies and small children while they are in the vehicle. Car seats can reduce injuries or even death.
According to Nicole Perez, Patient Transporter Lead at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, there are common mistakes made when practicing car seat safety, and some of those tend to happen during the winter months.
For example, putting big winter coats on kids before they’re put in the car seat can be a concern. Perez says bulky clothing can restrict the car seat harness.
Instead, the coats should be placed over children after they’re strapped in, or you can use a blanket to keep them warm.
Perez says you’ll also want to ensure the harness is tight. To test the safety, you can perform the pinch test by attempting to pinch the straps of the harness. If you can pinch the harness, there is still a risk that the child can fall out of the car seat in the event of a crash.
When the child’s car seat is forward-facing, the harness strap should be at or above shoulder level. For infants, straps should be at or below shoulder level and cuff the shoulders.
Perez says car seats do expire, so you’ll want to make sure you know when the seat’s expiration date is.
You can learn more about the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio by calling 210-704-2011 or visiting christushealth.org.