It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, and we know that the very most important thing to you, as a parent, is keeping your children safe. When you’re not in your car, did you know that carrying your baby in a wrap, sling or baby carrier is one of the very safest place for your baby to be? Babywearing places a baby on the adult’s body, in direct contact with your body, so you are completely aware of your baby’s responses, movements, breathing and actions. This is especially important when a baby is under four months old, when they are the most vulnerable and have yet to develop self-regulatory abilities.
But when it’s time to buckle-up and drive, you want to be sure that your most precious passengers are secured correctly and safely. Here a few excellent child passenger safety resources to help assure you that you’re doing all that you can to keep your little one secure.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Commission: Stay informed with the latest recommendations and guidelines for safe driving. This is a good resource with many helpful and unbiased tips on choosing and using a car-seat, with installation tips and how-to videos to guide you, as well as recall notices and important information on registering your car seat in the event of a possible future recall. There’s even a car seat inspection site locator where you can go to have your car seat installation inspected to be sure it’s installed correctly.
- The Car Seat Lady: An excellent site dedicated to providing accurate, up-to-date car seat safety information along with how-to videos is run by Debbie Baer, R.N., Alisa Baer, M.D, and Emily Levine. In the early 1980s, Debbie was instrumental in getting Maryland’s first car seat law passed, requiring children to ride in car safety seats. She is a renowned national expert in the field of child passenger safety and has extensive experience helping children with special needs ride safely and securely in vehicles. Because of her tireless work advocating for and educating about safe travel for children, she known affectionately as “the car seat lady.” Alisa is a certified instructor for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 32-hour car seat course, and has educated nurses, doctors, social workers, police, firemen, and many other community members about car seat safety so that they can provide information and services through their professional roles. Emily is nationally certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician and operates a fitting station on New York’s Upper West Side. She also has made numerous media appearances and educates new parents via lectures and group meetings. And Emily created and maintains the Car Seat Science Blog. Chock-full of great tips and information, it’s must-see site for all parents.
- Car-Seat Blog: A blog dedicated to all things related to transporting kids safely in cars, with content written by four writers who share a common passion for keeping kids safe in cars: Heather Watson, Kecia Healy, Darren Qunell, and Jennie Reiff. They share decades of experience as injury prevention educators, as well as child passenger safety technicians and instructors. The main foci of Car-Seat Blog are new product announcements, product reviews, news stories, and conference and trade show reports. What sets this blog apart is the forum, where parents and caregivers can post questions and join a community of knowledgeable and passionate car safety advocates.
We hope you find this information helpful and that it provides you with the confidence granted by the knowledge that you’re doing all that you can to keep your baby safe in the car.
By the way, when you arrive at your destination, we think the best thing to do is leave that infant bucket seat in the car and opt to wear your baby in a sling or baby carrier instead. Not only is it better for your back than lugging the heavy bucket seat around, but it’s better for your baby’s spinal and muscular development, as well. You can read more about it in this post about the benefits of babywearing versus car seat carrying. Our thanks to Facebook fan Andrea Nay for the lovely babywearing photo.
If you do choose to keep your baby in his car seat, please be aware of the dangers of placing the car seat on top pf a shopping cart.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “It is more common than most people think for children to be hurt in shopping carts. These injuries can be severe or even deadly. Each year approximately 23,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries from shopping carts. Most injuries are caused by falls from the cart or by the cart tipping over. Many injuries are to the head and neck.” (reference)
Did we miss any resources you’ve found particularly helpful? Please comment below to let us know!