Is your child in the right car seat? Probably not. Fix it now.

I am furious and heartbroken all at the same time this morning. When I logged on the Internet this morning, the first article on Yahoo.com’s main page just ruined my entire day.

This mother tragically lost her child because her child was not properly restrained in his car seat. Something so simple. Something so easy. Something so many people are not aware of could have saved this poor life. It kills me. My heart is breaking for a complete stranger this morning.

By law, at least in North Carolina, a child is required to be in a rear facing car seat until they turn one. Although that is the law in the state in which I live, other states have laws that require children to remain rear-facing for far longer because experts recommend that a child remain rear facing for as long as possible. Age does not determine if your child gets to be forward facing. A child’s weight and height does. Each car seat is different. Each car seat has different regulations on how your child should sit in the seat and if it should be rear facing or forward facing.

ONE IN FOUR CAR SEATS Are INSTALLED INCORRECTLY. Knowing that alarming statistic, that 75 percent of car seats are wrong, how could you not want to ensure yours is right?!

Please don’t assume because your child is one, or because your friend’s child is forward-facing, that your child should be too, because chances are, they shouldn’t. A child in a rear facing seat is 4 times safer than a child in a forward facing seat when it comes to a collision. FOUR TIMES SAFER. I have no idea that parents can know that fact and ignore it. I have no idea why any parent would want to risk their child’s safety.

I completely understand, that in a lot of cases, like the one of the mother in the article posted above, the problem is lack of education on the topic. Since becoming a mother I have become a car seat nazi. I guess you could say that I am kind of obsessed with it. But when I read articles like the one above… who can blame me? Today, a mother is without her son because she didn’t know the facts. It is that simple.

I have heard some parents say that their child is too big to be rear facing because their feet touch the back of the seat. My sister was one example. But that just simply isn’t true. It is perfectly safe and expected for your child’s feet to be rear facing with their feet touching the seat. It is going to happen and is totally ok. It will keep your child safe. Just do it.

Please educate yourself. Please know what is best for your child. Please don’t let an easy fix take your child’s life.  There are tons of resources, a great one is Safe Kids. Not only does their website have a ton of information, but they also have resources to find car seat technicians who will check your car seat for free. They are certified and can tell you what is best for your child and your vehicle. It doesn’t cost you anything to get it checked, but if you don’t, it could cost you your child’s life.

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So if we are Facebook friends, and you post a picture of your child in a car seat and it is incorrect. Chances are I am probably going to step up and say something, because the mother in this article wished someone would have done that for her.

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2 thoughts on “Is your child in the right car seat? Probably not. Fix it now.

  1. Thanks for posting this! My husband and I were just talking about moving our 2 year old into a booster seat because he is so big in his forward facing. That is really sad that the mother lost her baby. Especially because the negligence of the ex-boyfriend! He didn’t even have the bottom buckle done. There are times when I have to wrestle my toddler into his seat and buckle it before he arches his back to slide out. I hate it and I sometimes think I will just buckle him half way if we are driving in the neighborhood, but I never do because I imagine if that one time we get in a crash, I would never, NEVER forgive myself. Everyday I am thankful to be the one home with my kids instead of a careless caregiver. You never know what may happen.
    Thank you so much for sharing, I will definitely NOT be moving my son up to a booster for a few years now.

    • My son screams bloody murder at the site of his seat. he hates it. I also sometimes think.. “Well, I am just running down the road to the store, he will be ok,” but most accidents occur within 10 mile radius of your house. No way jose. It is just something so simple and so easy to avoid, that I think it is careless for parents not to educate themselves! I am glad you will be keeping your little guy buckled up safely! I also sometimes and tempted, and am even guilty of, turning my son forward facing on long car rides because it is easier for me. How selfish is that… it is easier on me, so I have risked my son’s life. I will definitely be taking it more serious now! Thanks for your comment!

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