Disclosure: My friend Rita will receive a car seat for this post. All opinions are her own.
With the summer months upon us many families are hitting the road and traveling with their loved ones. Safety is big part of traveling with your little one. While we all think we are the safest drivers, we can't predict what can occur outside our control. Ensuring you are traveling safely by having a great car seat and following the recommended safety guidelines. Here are some great suggestions to keep in mind.
Good car seats are hard to find especially when you have to decide on the weight and size that is right for your growing kiddo. Safety First's Grow and Go will be the first and last car seat you will need. It adjusts to your little ones growth and can carry him from newborn to toddler. Additionally, the seat features side impact protection, a no rethread harness, buckle holders, two cup holders and an easily removable seat cover. The Grow and Go is safe, comfortable and easy to clean. The Grow and Go is exclusively available for $169.99 (on sale now for $149.99!) at Babies ‘R’ Us.
After choosing a great car seat, it's important to follow the guidelines in installation and maintenance. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75% of car seats on the road are installed incorrectly. The safest place to install a car seat is typically in the center of the rear seat if this is a practical option for your car and family. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2. The Grow and Go is great to help with with this as you don't need to transition to different seats and it can easily convert from rear facing to forward facing when the time comes. There are many local facilities that will check if your seat is installed properly. You can visit a local police station, fire station, AAA office or Safe Kids Chapter for guidance.
It's very important to safeguard your car when traveling anywhere with your little one. Be sure to remove anything in the car that is not secured which can be a potential projectile. After attending a car safety information session at a local babies r us I was surprised to learn that simple items like a child’s toy, wet nap container, or a water bottle could be considered dangerous. In a crash, objects take on greater weight due to crash forces thus making any item a hazard to your baby. Make sure unused shoulder belts are not in reach of children as they can pose strangulation risk.
Remember, car seats expire. Car seats are an expensive investment and for many parents the idea of reusing car seats from previous children or receiving a hand -me-down is a great cost saver. You should always check the expiration date to confirm the seat is safe for your child. You can usually find the expiration date on the back or the side of the car seat. Also, keep in mind that once a car seat has been in a crash you should not use it, plastic can warp and materials can fray. So, while it may seem like a costly investment to have to buy a new car seat, remember that for the safety or your little one it's an investment worth making. The Grow and Go is a cost effective car seat in comparison to many of its competitors and well with the protection and comfort it offers making it an easy option for parents' budget.
Finally, as the season gets hotter each day, and it may seem like common sense, but never, leave a child alone in the car. Hyperthermia is a severe form of heat stroke and last year 30 children died after being left or trapped in a hot vehicle.
Be sure to enjoy your summer and travel safely with your most precious cargo.