When it comes to worries about Ted his safety is top of my list. I constantly fret about what possible hazards he may face on a daily basis but that is part and parcel of being a parent.
We have a great new car seat from Kiddicare which we are really looking forward to trying out but my brain has gone in to overdrive now with concerns about it being fitted correctly.
As part of Road Safety Week I wanted to share with you some of my worries which include car seat safety in particular with some advice from Mark 'The Car Seat Expert' at Britax.
Worry Number 1: Is my seat fitted correctly?
I know they come with manuals but we all know how confusing those things can be. As a parent sometimes you need that reassurance of a second set of eyes to feel the seat is strapped in securely.
Mark answered another parent's question which was similar to this. They wanted to know if you buy a seat online who can check it for you?
Mark: Some local authorities do offer this type of service through their Road Safety office network but you need to check to see if this is available locally. The best option is to purchase from a trained retailer who can provide expert help & guidance.
The Kiddicare website has a huge range of seats and they are so helpful, I would always drop them an email if I had any concerns and I recommend you to do the same regardless of retailer.
Worry Number 2: Should Ted be wearing his coat in the car?
I read about this on social media and it is something I know a lot of parent's probably aren't aware of. I certainly was oblivious to this when Ted was tiny, we were allowed to leave the hospital with him like this and nobody told us to take his snowsuit off!
The actual question was - Can you put thick jackets/coats on children in a car seat or does it make a difference to the distance between straps and their body?
Mark: If a child is wearing a thick jacket or bodysuit, the harness on the child seat cannot be firmly fastened, will not fit the right place and will not be close enough to the body. In the event of an accident, the belts will need to compress the jacket before it can restrain the child. This reduces safety considerably and it is therefore unadvisable for thick clothing to be worn whilst the child is in the child seat.
I hope this information gets through to all parents so please let anyone you know aware of this too!
Worry Number 3: When do I need to put Ted in a new car seat?
We moved Ted in to his forward facing seat earlier than the 'age' we were advised but he was a big baby so his height and weight seemed right for his seat. It appears we aren't the only ones confused by the height/weight/age issue as this parent asked...Car seats for children under 4 go by weight, does the height matter?
Mark: There are currently two regulations in Europe running parallel that relate to child seats. ECE R44 uses groups with weight ranges and ECE R129 uses a mixture of age and height. Some really useful information on both regulations can be found on our website: http://www.britax.co.uk/safety-for-your-child/i-size-ece-label
In general terms, a child can use a rear facing child seat until they reach the maximum stated weight or until their head reached the top of child seat. In the case of forward facing child seats, the maximum height is usually governed by the headrest but the child eye-line should not be allowed to exceed the top of the seat shell. However, always adhere to the information in the product’s user guide for accurate information on any individual child restraint system.
For more questions from the Q&A from Mark visit the Kiddicare blog here.
I feel a lot happier about Ted's car safety now that I have had my questions answered. I think we all worry about these things but few parents know where to find the right information. Britax's website really is a great help for advice on car seats. I wrote a post last year about choosing a suitable car seat too if you want to find out more about selecting the right seat for you.