I think we can all agree that keeping our children safe is a top priority. When it comes to carseats, I try and follow best practice, and have gone beyond what the law states in terms of rear facing and 5 point harnesses. When my oldest was 15 months old we switched him forward facing. At the time, I had never heard of extended rear facing, otherwise I likely would have kept him rear facing longer. When my youngest came along 2 years later, I knew we would extend that period to 2 years. At 9 years old, my oldest still uses a low back booster in the car since he is not quite tall enough for the seatbelt to fit correctly. Mr. K, 6, is in a high back booster. We kept him in a harness until 5 in my vehicle and 6 in my hubby's truck. Before that he just did not have the maturity to sit still and not move around.
September 18th -24th is Child Passenger Safety Week, and Diono wants to help you keep your kids safe. They have provided me with some tips from Allana Pinkerton, a Child Passenger Safety Advocate at Diono.
Top 5 safety Habits for Driving with Children, in honor of Child Passenger Safety Week in September
- Be sure to select the right car seat for your child’s, age, height and weight. Did you know many car seats on the market allow a child to stay rear-facing up to 3, 4 and even 5 years old? This keeps them 5x safer in a frontal crash because their head, neck and spinal cord is supported by the back of the car seat.
- Before installing your car seat, read the car seat manual and vehicle manual! Watch installation videos from the manufacturer’s website and then double check your work by consulting with a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. During CPS Week, many organizations will hold special events, but you can make appointments throughout the year. Find your nearest location here: http://www.safercar.gov/cpsApp/cps/index.htm
- #LookforBaby sounds silly, but we are all living more distracted lives these days. Too many children are unintentionally being left in hot cars. It can happen to anyone. Keep your purse or phone on the floor in the back seat. When you reach your destination you are more likely to remember to get those items which will help you keep an eye on baby before you lock the door.
- Check the car seat installation before every ride. Just give it a tug at the belt path to be sure it is still secured to the seat belt or with the lower anchors. Which reminds me, be sure it’s just one or the other, not both. Most car seats only allow installation using one method.
- Harness baby properly every ride. The harness straps for a rear-facing child should be placed at or just slightly below their shoulders. For a forward-facing child they should be at or slightly above their shoulders. The straps should be snug and comfortable, but not super tight. Try the pinch test at the collar bone. If your fingers slide and you can’t grasp any webbing, it’s a proper fit. Lastly, slide the plastic chest clip to armpit level. This helps keep the straps on top of the child’s shoulders. This is especially important for newborns whose tiny shoulders are more rounded and tend to make fitting a harness a challenge. With winter around the corner, think twice about placing your child in a thick coat when harnessing them into their car seat. Check out why: https://us.diono.com/whats-the-fluffing-problem-car-seats-winter-coats/
Allana has been a Certified CPS Technician for over 10 years. She became passionate about the issue out of concern for her own children’s safety on school buses. She has worked to instruct and present to others about the danger of not properly installing and utilizing car seats and seat buckles. She has worked in children’s hospitals and at community events with companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and State Farm. She has been actively involved with the Annual Kidz in Motion CPS Conference, and in 2013 was elected to Chair the Manufacturer’s Alliance for Child Passenger Safety. Currently, Allana also serves as the Global Safety Advocate for Diono.
And now for some GREAT news - Diono has generously offered up one Diono Radian RXT for a GIVEAWAY to my readers! That's right, one of you will be lucky and WIN a Diono Radian RXT for your very own car.
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This giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents that are 18+. To enter, all you need to do is fill out the form below - make sure you complete BOTH mandatory entries or you will be disqualified. This is open until September 28th at 1159pm EST.