What’s better than safety? A safety sweepstakes! That’s right, this Spring we’re challenging the safety knowledge of parents and caregivers with our CPST Safety Quiz, and all of the answers can be found right here in this blog! You'll find a link to the Sweepstakes at the bottom of this blog. But first, let’s find the answers…
Rear-Facing Car Seat Safety
At Diono, we’re up on the latest safety guidelines to make sure we’re providing the most reliable advice and recommendations. Extensive research by experts around the world has found rear-facing to be the safest way for a child to travel, and it is recommended that children travel rear-facing until they are at least 2-years old. Better yet, they should ride rear-facing until they reach the rear-facing height or weight capacity of their car seat (more on that in a little while).
Rear-facing car seats should be installed in the back of your vehicle in the seating position that allows for the most secure installation.
It is not recommended that rear-facing car seats be installed in the front seat of a vehicle where there are front passenger air bags unless that is the only option available and only if the air bag can be turned off.
Harness Strap Safety
Most common car seat mistakes involve incorrect harnessing. Either the harness straps are too loose, they are not at the right position, or the chest clip is in the wrong position. During the cold winter months, bulky or puffy winter coats are worn which actually creates a harness that is too loose. Harness straps are a crucial safety device on your car seat, and using them correctly is easy with these few steps:
- Use the PINCH Test to ensure harness straps are correctly tightened (read more here).
- Chest clip should be positioned at arm pit level. Not their belly button, not at their shoulders, arm pit level.
- Bulky clothing, like puffy winter coats, prevent the harness from being tightened correctly. Instead, strap your kiddo into their seat without their jacket, complete the Pinch Test, adjust the chest clip to arm pit level, and put their coat on backwards.
Booster Seat Safety
While it might not seem like a big deal to switch to a booster seat, they’re designed with a different purpose than other car seats. Booster seats do not have a 5-point harness and are designed to position the child so the adult seat belt fits them correctly. If a child doesn’t fit in the booster correctly, they will not be properly protected by the seat belt.
To switch to a booster seat, your child must weigh at least 40 lbs and be at least 5-years old.
Car Seat Weight and Height Recommendations
Every car seat has its own maximum height and weight limit for passengers that should not be exceeded. The weight limit for most infant car seats is typically 30 or 35 lbs, at which point you would need to switch to a new seat. You’ll know it’s time to switch seats when your child reaches the maximum weight or height limit.
A common car seat mistake is rushing to transition to the next step in car seats, particularly from rear-facing to forward-facing. Your child will be safest when rear-facing, and until they’ve reached the maximum weight or height limit for rear-facing, we recommend not switching to forward-facing. If in doubt, remember to check the weight and height limits as your child grows.