A few years ago I shared this post and I feel like it’s time to share it again.
Because it really, really doesn’t matter what sort of car seat you have if you don’t pay attention to this…
My family and I went on a road trip yesterday, my pregnant belly in the picture is now and bright and bubbly almost two year old and the 4 year old here just turned 6. And he is still in this seat. And he knows the straps need to be tight. And I am just as passionate as ever about car seat safety…
So here it is again, for anyone who may have missed it, for anyone who needs a reminder, or for anyone who just didn’t know…
Thoughts on Car Seats from Paramedics… feel free to share.
Alexander turned 4 and we decided it was time to get him a new car seat, with a baby on the way we knew we could use his old one for her and buy him a new seat for the next 4 or so years.
So we purchased this one and love it.
I’m a member of a lot of mothers groups and communities and the discussion around car seats is ALWAYS a heated one. People give their opinions on rear facing vs forward facing, side seat vs middle seat, chest clip height (FYI – Australia doesn’t use chest clips), straps, wearing jumpers… if there’s something to have an opinion on, it has been discussed before.
But I wanted to share something my husband and I were discussing.
See, together we have over 20 years of on road experience as Paramedics. We have been to more car accidents than you could imagine and seen more mangled car seats than I’d like to share.
While we know the science and research backs up our opinions, that’s not what we are sharing here. We wanted to share what we have seen and experienced in our job.
When you become a parent you spend AGES researching the ‘best’ car seat. You look for safety features, star ratings and reviews and fret over if you can afford the best.
But, it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a car seat if you DON’T strap your child in.
Between my husband and I, in our 20 years experience, we have NOT seen a single child harmed in a car accident where the child was restrained in their seat properly.
Not a single one.
That’s not to say it hasn’t happened, but out of 20 years, and a whole lot of accidents, that’s a pretty darn good indicator of the importance of using a car seat properly.
We’ve seen car seats ejected from vehicles, we’ve seen cars that have rolled over so many times you can barely tell which way is up, we’ve seen accidents where you would be certain there would be no survivors.
But in our experience, the biggest difference between a child’s safety hasn’t been if they were in the $600 car seat or the $200 one. It’s been about those straps.
How tight are you making the straps on your child’s seat? Can they pull their own arms out of them? Can you only fit one or two fingers underneath them? Do they have a big puffy jacket on that stops them from being strapped in properly?
Would you be confident in doing THIS to them? Would you be confident in turning your child upside down in their seat?
Car seats have incredible safety designs now, they are designed to cocoon your child, protect them as they roll and are thrown around in an accident. but they can only do this if your child is restrained properly.
So next time you buckle your child in, ask yourself… would I be confident in turning them upside down in their seat right now?