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The Baby Car Seat Safety Guide

Baby car seat safety is so important. Babies have very fragile bodies that are developing. Like a cot or pram, your child will spend a lot of time in a car seat. That means they must be durable and safe.  

As a parent, it is natural to panic about your child's safety. Especially if you are becoming a parent for the first time. We understand the frenzy of buying baby things before your child is born. Looking at the safety of products is another task. And a time consuming one!

This blog will help you with that. We have highlighted key safety features to look for when buying or using a car seat. We will guide you to getting a top-quality car seat. Designed for your baby's safety. Let us help put your mind at ease.

Safe Travels

As parents, we love showing the world to our little ones. There is just so much to see. A pram is excellent for staying local. But once you are ready to explore further from home, you're going to need a car seat. 

A car seat is one of those baby items you need to buy. Whether it's taking your baby to see their close-by granny every few days. Or one big trip to some lovely countryside. As a parent, you should be aware that keeping your baby on your lap or strapped into the seat belt is dangerous and illegal. In that regard, a car seat is a valuable investment, which opens up opportunities. 

Car seats come in a range of different brands and prices. You can view our car seat selection here. Do not panic when seeing the most expensive model. You can use the options bar to adjust to your needs.

Buying Second-Hand Baby Car Seats

Like most items, buying a car seat second hand is an option. Many parents do choose to go down this route. Our advice is that if you are looking at second-hand car seats, be very careful. Check its history. Check if it has any differences from how it was initially. If you cannot be sure we recommend staying away. A car seat is too important to take a guess on. Get the seller to tell you everything about the car seat that puts you at ease.

Follow the Instructions

Yes. Those dreaded instructions and confusing diagrams. They are not very fun. But studying those instructions could save your baby's life. So just this once read them for joy! 

Installing a baby car seat seems simple at first glance. But there are many little details you need to be aware of to ensure it is 100% safe. The seat must be tightly secured and hardly budge – a max. of 2.5 cm – when grasping and moving the attachment points.

If you are opting for a convertible car seat for infants and toddlers. The car seat must be positioned correctly according to your child's age. For safety reasons, it is highly recommended that your baby car seat is in the rear-facing position until the age of two.

For babies under six months, the seat should always be in a semi-reclined position. This offers the proper support and security for their heads and keeps their airways open. 

Convertible car seats will allow you to adjust the positioning as your child grows.

To many parents, it feels safer to install the baby car seat on the passenger seat, so they can keep an eye on their child and interact with them more. This isn't the best option, considering this is where the airbags are installed.

The best place to install your child's car seat is in the middle of the back seat, where they are safe from the potential impact on either side of the car. Check the manual for your vehicle too. This offers further guidance on airbags and car seat positions.

Buckle Up

The harness and buckle are the most critical components of your child's car seat. They are what keep your child safely strapped in. So that should be one of the first things you look for. Make sure the strap and buckle are in excellent condition. Any signs of being damaged or worn is a big no. It can be possible to get these parts professionally replaced. So, if you have your heart set on a car seat, look to the professionals.

It's not always easy to determine whether your baby is strapped in correctly. We are only used to strapping ourselves in. There is a difficult balance as a parent. You do not want to strap that teeny tiny body in too tightly. But, you don't want to keep it loose either, as that would be dangerous. A great way to verify your baby is safely buckled up is with the "pinch test". Strap your baby into the car seat and test whether you can pinch the harness and gather it up where it rests on the collarbone. If you can, the strap is too loose.

Don't strap your baby into their car seat in full winter-fashion – i.e. snowsuit, puffy jacket, etc. It could compromise the harness straps' secure fit and put too much tension on the buckle over time. Consistency is good. Plus, it's just as uncomfortable for your baby as it is for you to be riding along in a bulky jacket. Remove some layers of your child's outerwear before strapping them in and cover them with a cuddly blanket instead.

Regular Check-Ups

Remove the baby car seat regularly to check and clean the fabric, buckle and base properly. Purchasing the right car seat is only one part of the job – it’s up to you to maintain it for optimal safety! Think of a door lock. The safest lock in the world will be no good if you fail to check it is regularly working.

 

So in a sense, there is a two-stage responsibility. Before buying the car seat, make sure it meets the criteria above. Then, afterwards, use it as recommended and check for anything off. It can be difficult for new parents to grasp this challenge straight away. Do not worry! There are many people out there with years of experience. A top Hello Baby tip is practising before your baby arrives.

We hope the safety guide assists you on your journey as a parent. At Hello Baby, we offer a variety of the safest car seat brands to help get you started, including Joie.