Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat

Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat – Installing car seats and getting your baby into them can be one of the most nerve-wracking things to do with a newborn after a baby shower. And you’re definitely doing it wrong—even if it’s not your first rodeo.

A recent study of nearly 300 parents found that 5% of families installed car seats in their newborns without major defects, and more than half of them had older children. Worse, half of the offending families had at least 5 or more misdemeanors in their facility or child placement. Only one in five families managed to make a mistake.

Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat

Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat

“As a practicing pediatrician, I am saddened to see so many unrestrained children in cars, as well as children seriously injured in car accidents,” said Benjamin Hoffman, medical director of the Tom Sargent Child Care Center at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s, Mid. Hospital, and OHSU School of Medicine. Professor of Pediatrics.

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“Mistakes are common because car seats can be complicated,” Hoffman said. “The car seat manual explains all the recommendations, but it can be difficult to understand, and many people don’t read them for a variety of reasons.”

A certified car seat technician since 1997, Hoffman has developed a program to help families keep their children safe in the car. He noticed that newborn families make more mistakes than other families, so he decided to study it. Specifically, he wanted to identify what mistakes parents make, which families are at risk, and what can help families improve their car seat habits. The information, published today in the Journal of Pediatrics, will help develop programs and policies that improve the safety of newborns during travel.

Hoffman and his colleagues conducted a survey of 291 mothers who had child passenger safety technicians watch over the mother or her planner to install and position the newborn’s car seat. More than half of the mothers had other children and only half had private insurance, and 60% were between 25 and 34. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, technicians spent 20 to 85 minutes on each car seat, looking for more than two dozen defects or “defects.” Almost all families used only a rear-facing seat with a removable base (5% used a convertible car seat).

Overall, 95% of families made at least one mistake, 86% of families incorrectly positioned the newborn and 77% made a mistake when installing the seat. Additionally, 89% were “critical” based on NHTSA recommendations, meaning the defect increases the risk of injury to a child in a crash. A few more parents in Hoffman’s group (91%) made “serious” mistakes that could have resulted in injury, even during normal walks.

Mother Putting Baby In Car Seat And Fasten Seat Belt

Some studies show that the wrong recline angle can harm babies, especially if it’s too straight, which can tilt the baby’s head forward and obstruct the airway, Hoffman said. “Having a chest clip too low allowed the baby to fall out, causing strangulation.”

More than a third had a restraint clip fitted, it was too low, the buckle was too loose for 69% of babies, and the seat angle was incorrect for two out of five seats. Nearly a third used the wrong twist inserts, and one in five households used an unregulated product. Additionally, 44% of the seats moved sideways more than an inch during testing.

“If it’s more than 1 inch, the seat will move, allowing the crash forces to be transferred to the child, not the car or the seat itself, and cause injury,” Hoffman said.

Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat

Each car seat may have different recommendations for proper installation and use, such as… [+] Grace One. Photo by Chris Wiegand

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In more than half of the seats that use seat belts, the seat belt retractor is not latched, and less than one-third of the seats that use fewer anchors are attached to the anchors. Incorrect seat belt rotation and use of lower center seat anchors were other common faults. Only 11 percent of families wear seat belts, but that’s usually not a concern unless a child is in a serious crash, in which case seat belts could theoretically (though not always) fail, Hoffman said. Each twist reduces the armor’s tensile strength (about 6,000 pounds) by 10%.

As a family’s income or education level decreases, the likelihood of committing more offenses increases. Non-English speaking mothers have also made many mistakes. Hospitals and health systems need to do more to educate and support families before and after childbirth, Hoffman said.

“It is not acceptable to approach a newborn baby with the attitude that we cannot give wealth. “If we know 95% of kids going home from the hospital are unsafe, how can we not do that?”

—Be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations in the manual, which you can find at www.seatcheck.org or www.safekids.org, or work with a certified car seat technician. Another helpful website is http://www.safercar.gov/parents/CarSeats/Car-Seat-Safety.htm.

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– Every car safety seat must be attached to the car with a buckle strap or lower anchor. If the belt is not locked, the car seat may move too much in an accident, causing injury.

– All rear-facing seats have multiple openings in the back through which the harness passes. For a rear-facing baby, we want to thread the strap through the slits at the shoulders or below. It is related to the force vector. In an emergency, the child is pushed into the seat and slides out from behind. If the belt is above the shoulders or too loose, that position allows the child to accelerate and get caught in the belt, which can cause injury. (Place your hands 3 inches in front and squeeze hard – slap hurts) If the straps are tight and at or below the shoulders, baby will make contact with the straps before acceleration and is less likely to be injured. (Put your hand on your cheek and press – the same force, without pain.)

My book, The Informed Parent, with co-author Emily Willingham, is available for pre-order. Find me on Twitter here. It is very important to secure your child in their car seat. Each age has a different rule for weight and height, and it can definitely feel overwhelming to a new parent. But don’t sweat it, we break down car seat safety for you and make it super easy for all ages and weights.

Putting A Newborn In A Car Seat

Choosing the right car seat for a newborn can be stressful. The best place to start is with a consumer rating list of the safest car seats. Choose the right car seat for your child’s size, your car and your budget. After choosing your car seat, it’s time to install it (we recommend that you always follow this guide). Here’s a handy checklist for newborn car seat safety:

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Once your baby reaches 40 lbs. + You can adjust and move around in an infant car seat (if you are using an infant car seat or your current ‘3 in 1’ or convertible car seat). Forward positioning of the car seat. The AAP recommends that children be rear-facing until age 2, but that recommendation is now based on weight, not age. A 5-point harness stays in a forward-facing car seat until your child reaches 65 pounds. Here’s a handy checklist for toddlers:

Once your child is over 65 pounds, you can switch to a booster car seat. The AAP recommends that children over 65 pounds use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts fit. This usually happens when they reach a height of at least 4 feet 9 inches and reach the age of 8 to 12 years. Here is a helpful checklist for car seat safety for older children

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