Home » Featured, Notes From Motherhood

Carseat Safety by Christine Lee-McNaughton

5 May 2011 56 Comments

Car seats stress me out. When we were in the NICU with Little One, she had to pass a “car seat test” in order for her to be discharged from the hospital. Basically, the babies have to be able to sit in the car seat for thirty minutes without “de-satting” (when their oxygen saturation levels drop or swing). Little One was always good with sending off all her alarms in the NICU, so having all the bells and whistles go off all the time stressed me out. I just wanted her to pass that test so we could take her home. Home for us was a six hour drive from Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, and therefore, her car seat test had to be longer.

A friend of ours had a baby the year before Little One was born and had given us her car seat/infant carrier and stroller attachment. I loved it! Then, a few months later, a friend of mine commented on how Little One’s car seat was dangerous because it was made before a certain date and was on the recall list.

Thus began my introduction to product recall lists.

Car seats terrified me because I was always worried that my car seat wasn’t good enough or Little One wasn’t positioned properly. Some sources said that there should not be any “rolls” or anything in the car seat except for the baby, lest the baby get smothered. Other sources said because she was a preemie and less than 5 lbs, it was okay to stick rolled up towels or rolled up blankets on either side of her. So many conflicting rules! Some said not to use the head support inserts that come with the car seat. Others said to use it. How confusing for a parent who just wants to do what is best and what is safe for her newborn.

Another reason car seats seemed daunting to me was because they look like Chinese torture devices when taken apart. I wash the car seat fabric and belts every now and then (just because I like washing them. Ha!). I get Hubby to take the washable pieces apart and put them back together again for me. I am really that scared of messing things up.

When Little One finally graduated from the infant car seat to the toddler car seat, my anxiety got even worse. One day, my friend looked at Little One’s car seat and said, “This isn’t in properly!”. I gasped. We had the car seat checked for safety, we still had Little One rear-facing, etc. Still, my friend said the problem was that it was not level to the ground. *sigh*

Car seat safety is extremely important to me. Our children are so precious to us. Of course their safety is paramount. For this reason, even though Little One is almost two years old, she is still rear-facing. Hubby and I are adamant about keeping her rear-facing for as long as we can. If you think of injuries sustained from the impact during rear end collisions, having your child rear facing is pretty smart. It’s a lot safer when it comes to neck injuries.

We get a lot of flack from people telling us we should put Little One frontward facing already. What do I do when I’ve got questions about products and safety? I do research, call the appropriate companies, check out company websites, talk to other moms, and…I go to my “Go To” person. Jill Winer is a car seat technician and a car seat safety advocate. I interviewed her for some car seat safety questions:

CM: What made you decide to become a car seat technician and what does being a car seat technician entail?

JW: When my almost 7 year old was a baby and I started doing some reading about car-seats and how to use them safely, I was amazed by how little I knew. I quickly started to recognize that all around me, car-seats were being used in unsafe ways. I tried to educate people about how to use car-seats properly, but didn’t really have any credibility. When I got pregnant with my now toddler, I knew that I would once again be around a lot of new moms and babies, and wanted to be able to help ensure all these babies were as safe as possible in their car-seats. So I got certified. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends and family still ignore my advice…but when I do see it taken and especially when I am am able to actively help ensure a baby is safer in the car, I am thrilled. I also love volunteering at car-seat clinics. It is fun, meaningful…and a great work-out!

For my training, I did a 2 day course (over the weekend) with St. John’s Ambulance. Contact them or check out their local web-site for more information. I also need to do 10 installs a year to keep up my certification. I easily do this at one clinic. Technicians need to be certified every 3 years.

CM: What are five of the most important things you would like to tell parents regarding car seat safety?

JW: 1. Cars accidents are the leading cause of death in babies and young children. Taking our kids and babies out in the car is the most dangerous thing most of use do with them, and many of us do it multiple times a day. Car-seats, used properly, are their best protection. So please use them properly.

2. The chest-clip goes at the chest, not the belly. Armpit level, at the chest. If it is too low, in the force of a collision the straps can come off your babies shoulders, and your baby could be thrown out of the seat.

3. Your baby will not freeze to death if you don’t use a snow-suit, or bundle me, in the car. I had a baby in December, in Toronto, and she made it! Warm winter clothes and a warm blanket (or a car-seat cover that goes over the seat and does not interfere with the straps) are sufficient, and the car-seat straps fit much better this way. Save the buntings and snowsuits for outside excursions.

4. The straps should be tight enough that you cannot pinch them at the collar-bone.

5. The car-seat should not move more than an inch, side to side, at the base (where the seat-belt or latch strap goes through the seat) when properly installed.

CM: My two year old is still rear-facing. She’s still pretty light and she’s very petite. We plan on keeping her rear-facing for as long as we can. In our opinion, it’s safer. We have been getting a lot of flack from others, telling us we should make her car seat forward facing already. Do you recommend keeping her rear-facing for longer?

JW: My almost 2 year old is also still rear-facing, and will be for some time, since she is 24lbs and her seat has a rear-facing limit of 35lbs. It is absolutely safer. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing for as long as possible. Babies and toddler should rear-face to the maximum limits of a convertible (rear and forward-facing) car-seat which (depending on the seat) OR when his/her head is 1-inch from the top of the car-seat shell (feel for it, it is hard, not the cushioning). The rule that most parents know is that children must rear-face to at least 1 year AND 20 lbs. What is not well known is that 1 year AND 20 lbs. is the bare minimum and it is strongly recommended that they be kept rear-facing for much longer.

When a child is forward-facing, there is a lot of stress put on the neck in a collision. The weight of a child’s head in a crash causes the spinal column to stretch, which is it not supposed to do. The spinal column can stretch up to 2 inches but the spinal cord can only stretch up to 1/4 inch before it snaps. This is referred to as “internal decapitation”. Scary, huh? Research shows that a forward-facing child is 4 times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than a rear-facing child of the same age. How big the child is or how well they can hold their head up has nothing to do with how well their spinal cord can absorb the force of a collision. That strength only comes from time and age. A 29lbs 16 month old is no safer in a collision if the car-seat is forward-facing than a 19lb 16 month old would be. Rear-facing seats absorb the forces in a collision, protecting the neck and spine.

By the way, it is fine for a babies feet to touch the back of the car-seat in a rear-facing seat. There has never been an incident of a broken leg due to this, and even if it did happen, I’d far prefer a broken leg to a broken neck or spine, wouldn’t you?

CM: In your opinion, are there any car seats that are better than others? Which ones would you recommend and why?

JW: The best car-seat is one that is properly used (and not expired or broken in any way, obviosly). One that fits the car, and child, well. More expensive seats have some perks (easier to adjust, etc..) but they are not proven to be safer. All seats sold have to meet the same requirements. That said, I do like seats that have higher rear-facing (at least 30lbs) and harnessing (at least 50lbs) limits, so that the little ones don’t have to be turned forward, or out of the seat and into a booster, for a long, long time. It used to be that only very expensive seats had higher limits, but this is no longer the case. These days many more affordable seats have excellent rear-facing and harnessing limits. Many parents know that their babies can go to forward facing at 1 year AND 20lbs, and can move from a car-seat to a booster at 4 years AND 40lbs, but they don’t know that it is safer to postpone both these moves as long as possible, and seats with higher limits allow that. Remember, every step up in the car-seat proegression is a step down in safety.

CM: What is the best advice you would give parents about proper car seat installation?

JW: Read the instructions cover to cover before, and while, installing. Use two people to install…when you are pulling the belt tight, it helps to have one person put their weight on the seat (and bounce) and another to pull the belt. If you are not sweating or out of breath after installing a seat, it probably is not in tight enough. I like mine tight enough to shake the car when I try to move the seat.

Most importantly, if you cannot get it in tight enough or it feels or looks wrong, please, please find a technician to double-check it. We know lots of tricks for getting a stubborn seat in correctly and securely! Many baby-shops have car-seat technicians on staff (for a fee). You can also attend a car-seat clinic. Click here for more information on where to find a clinic.

56 Comments »

  • Michelle said:

    Excellent article! Thank you for posting this and also helping me realize I’m not the only one stressed out about car seats!!
    One thing I was told too is that those car seat blankets that the straps feed through are very dangerous. I had one for my daughter to bring her home in and was told not to by the nurse. The cushioning of the fabric can compress on impact making the seat belts too loose. I ended up getting one that fits over the top of the seat and elastics around the seat (like a fitted bed sheet)

  • Christine said:

    Michelle:
    Thanks for mentioning that! :) That is so true. I have heard the same thing about those car seat blankets. We had one for Little One as well (a baby shower present), but I got her one that fits over the top of the seat. Sounds like the same kind you got. I remember being so paranoid about everything when I was bringing our tiny preemie home in her car seat! She looked so small! I worried that she’d stop breathing or something! Now, I’m much better and trust that I know what I’m doing with her car seat. It also helps that she’s now 2.5 years old! LOL!

  • Jill W. said:

    Thanx for posting this Christine…I am so glad I was able to help.
    Michelle, right you are. I referred to those covers in the interview, and am so glad you listened to the nurse. It is amazing to me how many people continue to use the covers (and do other car-seat non-nos) even after they are told it is not the safest choice!!!

  • Sarah Ahmad said:

    What a great article with great information. Thank you.

  • Louanne said:

    Thanks for one’s marvelous
    posting! I genuinely enjoyed
    reading it, you could be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back at some point. I want to encourage that you continue your great work, have a nice
    morning!

  • hambrook greenstock said:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that you ought to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not discuss these issues. To the next! Cheers!!

  • Child Porn said:

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  • instructables.com said:

    Hi taxi cabs Hi, Elaine, Elaine. We’re going to party for you guys as well.
    Be sure your car insurance company. No, no, I might give him thirty dollars.
    In the United States like Chicago, Los Angeles, Lyon,
    Mexico City, with about 50, 000 cabs a year in lost time.
    But major breaches of the rules governing the way police question suspects meant that he would get Value to take him
    to the movies this month?

    Feel free to visit my blog post … instructables.com

  • homeschooling math said:

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would
    be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog
    and look forward to new posts.

  • Bus Rental Calgary said:

    Great article! We will be linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  • ceo of greenlight loans said:

    It’s awesome to visit this website and reading the views of all
    friends regarding this piece of writing, while I am also zealous of getting knowledge.

  • Porno x amateur said:

    you’re actually a just right webmaster. The web site loading velocity is incredible.

    It sort of feels that you’re doing any distinctive trick.
    In addition, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a excellent activity in this
    subject!

  • portable storage unit said:

    I think the admin of this site is genuinely working hard in favor of his web site, because here every stuff is quality based material.|

  • junk removal business said:

    Hi, yup this piece of writing is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it on the topic of blogging. thanks.|

  • junk car in queens said:

    Because tthe ademin of this web site is working, no doubt very shortly it will be well-known, due to its feature contents.

    Chec out my website junk car in queens

  • Exede satellite internet said:

    I pay a quick visit each day a few web sites and information sites to read articles or reviews, however this webpage offers quality based content.|

  • Dishnet internet said:

    Hello there I am so excited I found your blog page, I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a fantastic post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome job.|

  • www.youtube.com said:

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really recognise what you are speaking approximately!
    Bookmarked. Please also visit my site =). We can have a hyperlink alternate contract among us

  • URL.ORGanizer: mobile14 said:

    For instance, I reach sing the type of music I’ve liked because I
    was young.

  • Dorie said:

    Openness To Encounter is the factor which explains the degree to which folks are imaginative, questioning, and also open to feelings.

  • tooth extraction said:

    Hello friends, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say regarding this article, in my view its actually remarkable designed for me.|

  • Harriet said:

    I soon learned that turbulence training review (Harriet) Training isn’t
    really a quick repair; it’s about utilizing popular technique to
    obtain fantastic results quickly.

  • Dana said:

    Feel free to visit my web-site rap beats – Dana
    -

  • kettlebell training for abs said:

    The calorie expense distinctions were considerable, with the treadmill
    burning more calories per hr compared to various other modes of exercise.

  • www.jgmsolucoes.com.br said:

    My relatives always say that I am killing my time here at net, except I know I am getting knowledge every day by reading
    thes fastidious articles.

  • http://ec2-52-34-211-88.us-west-2.compute.amazonaws.com/weight-loss-weekly-diet-meal-plan said:

    Filipino themes drama developed the late nineteenth century as the independence movement evolved.

  • smart balance wheel said:

    They are really outstanding smart balance wheel http://www.betterscooter.com/!

  • Ihre Eingabe hier said:

    Eine mit grauen Haare die mit einem Schwanz im Mund zum Sperma schlucken gezwungen wird, wird auf Pornos Cam Seiten mehrere Kerle gleichzeitig erniedrigt.

  • Roger said:

    Tɦis is νery іnteгеstіng, Υоս aге a νегy sкіlⅼᥱԀ Ƅlоǥɡᥱг.
    Ι’ѵᥱ joіneԀ yⲟur гѕѕ fееd ɑnd ⅼⲟoк fօгաɑrԀ tօ ѕᥱeқіng
    mοгe ߋf үоᥙг magnifіϲᥱnt ⲣοѕt.
    Alѕօ, I’ᴠe sɦɑгеԀ ʏoսг sitе in mу ѕоϲіɑl netաогқs!

    Ηᥱге іѕ mу ѕіtе ::
    bоtas ᥙgɡ maԀгiԀ (Roger)

  • Anna said:

    If you want to get muchh from this paragraph then you have to apply these methods
    to your won blog.

  • yahoo.com login said:

    ID and password for that account that contains your Yahoo.
    The Microsoft Office suite includes Outlook, a course that enables
    you to manage your email, address book and calendar.

    mail, messenger, games as well as other Internet services.

    for Yahoo, which lets you keep your Yahoo Contacts, Yahoo Calendar, To-Do.
    Click “Refresh File Manager” to update the main page.
    Did you know that you just can improve your Yahoo email appearance,
    signature and auto reply functions. yahoo.com login mail,
    messenger, games as well as other Internet services.
    for Yahoo, which lets you keep your Yahoo Contacts, Yahoo Calendar,
    To-Do. Click “Refresh File Manager” to update the main page.
    Did you know that you just can improve your Yahoo email appearance,
    signature and auto reply functions.

  • Luis said:

    Right here are two functional and random observations
    own post writing. Choose out a couple of which you can make use of immediately before your head hits the
    pillow tonight.If you really desire to build an online Affiliate Marketing business that will
    certainly allow you to earn money from home, you have to
    do some “set it and forget it” type advertising.
    Some examples of this would be YouTube Videos, ezine short articles, Bing and Google advertisements, blog sites, and
    Solo ads. By doing this you can really set up a fully automated online
    business.Comcast shot themselves in the foot with this step.

    In the past it did not matter to them. They had no competitors so they had nothing to run the
    risk of. Now nevertheless there is growing competitors.Some examples
    of business that use viral marketing in their online
    video marketing campaigns would be Audi, Nike,
    Coca Soda and most just recently Old Spice.
    Now many of us have seen the humorous Old Spice marketing Campaigns about smelling like a man and not a girl!The
    last concept is generally the very same as ppc advertising (PPC), except you are the Supplier of the ad.
    Not some big business. So the dashboard comes pre-loaded with lots
    of internet sites that want you to promote their devices (along
    with pre made text and banner advertisements – all routed through your vendor ID).

    Payouts can be over $102.00 conversion and/or reoccurring commissions.Do not hire a web designer up
    until you are prepared. As soon as you are
    completed shopping around for an internet designer, do ensure you have acquired a domain, hosting,
    have a general idea of what you would like your website to
    appear like and written your material, if you will certainly be doing this yourself.
    This is essential! Web designers work practically, that is straight on-line
    (through the internet marketing il – Luis
    -). You might not in fact ever fulfill them. This design of work is very various
    from working face to face and have actually times set up regarding when you will
    certainly meet. It actually benefits you, the designer can get your site online quicker.
    Therefore it is vital for the web designer to have all
    your info. Then you will be pushed to the back burner, if they have to wait a week or so for you site content.Think of that:
    every week, that chain spent a fortune to draw clients
    to its doors, and afterwards continued to drive a multitude of those
    customers away. Because marketing and logistics were unable to communicate,
    all.You can now begin to develop a strategy of action to get
    a step up on them when you understand everything about them.
    You know their negatives and pluses. Whether you promote on our web site, in radio, print or television, you can now
    make use of that info in your marketing campaign.

  • Sunny said:

    I was excited to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this wonderful read!!
    I definitely loved every bit of it and i also have you bookmarked to see new things on your site.

    my blog interim management services – Sunny,

  • Stephania said:

    Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clarity on your publish is just cool and i can assume you’re knowledgeable divorce attorney in frankfort illinois
    - Stephania, this subject.
    Fine along with your permission let me to snatch your feed to
    stay up to date with imminent post. Thanks one million and please
    continue the enjoyable work.

  • Penelope said:

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the best sites on the internet.
    I’m going to recommend this blog!

    Breslan Law
    1127 Plainfield Rd
    divorce attorney in joliet il (Penelope), IL 60435
    (815) 726-7950

  • www.promosauvage.com said:

    Ne donnez pas d’argent qui vous le reclameront parfois aux enfants,, surtout pas pour une photo.

  • Lara said:

    If it sounds too excellent to be real, it probably is –
    everyone has heard this age-old saying prior to. One “Chattanooga Times Free Press” reporter, however, discovered
    simply just how much water the stating still holds when his community recently sustained hail damage.Whatever your business
    is. You require to strike them ‘tough’ with your message
    about your business. Again, it has to be brief, sharp, and to the point.
    It needs to tell the visitor in simply a couple
    of short lines ‘precisely’ exactly what you’re about.
    , if you have a quite web-page up that’s fine.. However your message might hit individuals even ‘more challenging’ if it was standing alone on a white background with
    no diversions or frills anywhere to be seen. Simply your important message and a divert link or
    telephone number for more information.Rather than try to find a low
    cost web host you need to initially specify your
    requirements and then look for selections that can fulfill them as well as meet your budget.

    Then, try to verify the reliability and consumer support claims of your shortlist.Cell
    phones are fast ending up being a requirement instead
    of a luxury. A big majority of the population over 15
    has one and most kids old enough to have buddies believe they need
    one. The cell phone market has actually experienced an extraordinary growth,
    you have a devices that is changed in less than a year most of the times,
    and with an updated design a lot of the time. This implies that previously
    extremely much longer, the audience of anyone marketing with cell phones
    will realistically be many of the world wide population.Tie up
    with other ebusiness owners. As they state, no guy is an island.
    You’ll maximize your exposure in the online field if you
    consolidate individuals who are offering services
    and products that compliment yours. Exactly what you can do is
    to enter an agreement where you and your partners will cross
    sell your products to your particular customers. This can increase your
    sales without the requirement to spend more on your
    advertising project.Where else can you find a business
    that you can begin for under 5 hundred dollars. With many
    individuals unemployed or underemployed in today’s economy, to
    be able to start your own company is a genuine chance.
    There are so lots of cutbacks and furloughs discovering part time work is a real true blessing.
    The appeal of this is it will not only change your income, it will build
    you a fortune! If you think that you will certainly get rich fast, you are probably tricking yourself.Some people do get rich in simply a couple of months, internet marketing but the majority of take 12-36 months to reach there goals.If it sounds to excellent to be real it probably is.
    There are just to numerous chances out there to pick from.
    After browsing for over 2 years I finally found a company and team that
    I can work with.Organizational structure: The structure of your business should be most carefully meeting
    the requirement of the market. You can opt to own any structure
    that satisfies your needs for offering your simpleness and ease in operation.Promote.
    This is where web marketing can be found in. Recent data proves that marketing online
    produces more results than the standard signboards
    or posters. Search for internet advertising suggestions
    or free lessons on advertising, then plan with your business partners.
    Web marketing is how you relay to the world that
    your business is working. These approaches consist of utilising social networking sites and social
    bookmarking to spread the word, tagging and commenting on other websites and online forums connected to
    your business, or connecting back to your website wherever you go
    online. Trust that it will certainly spread like wildfire through the
    web when you begin to promote. If you have
    the self-confidence and heart it takes to start an online business, you just
    may end up ending up being an online multi-millionaire.

    1% Marketing & Web Design Champaign
    1702 Hedge Rd.
    Champaign, illinois marketing (Lara) 61821
    (217) 383-0900

  • malaysia casino online said:

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a
    great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and
    will eventually come back in the foreseeable future.
    I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great writing, have a nice holiday weekend!

  • cbslocal.com said:

    Rats, mice and other pets might have explored the dumpster before you and left waste behind.

  • Learn More said:

    drug rehab costa mesa

  • großen Beitrag zu lesen said:

    Willst Du eine Sexpartnerin, eine Privatnutte oder eine hemmungslose Ehefrau Steinfurt?

  • zonne energie said:

    Definitely consider that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the easiest thing to consider of.
    I say to you, I certainly get irked while folks consider
    issues that they just do not recognise about. You managed to hit the nail
    upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect ,
    other folks can take a signal. Will probably be back to get
    more. Thank you

  • used cars in nigeria said:

    Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.

  • Online-Shop said:

    Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your site
    by chance, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  • additional reading said:

    marriage and family counselor licensure requirements

  • zusätzliche Lese said:

    Es gibt 10 neue Herausforderungen, das heißt verschiedene Szenarien.

  • geh jetzt said:

    Häufig wird der sexuelle Genuß besonders intensiv erlebt und führt zu multiplen, langanhaltenden Orgasmen.

  • voellig fremden said:

    11.Wie nennt einen Polen mit einem Arm ??

  • startseite said:

    Mein Rücken analspiele konnte es vertragen, mein Schwanz auch und meine Gefühle erst recht.

  • see page said:

    Have you been successful with your shopping at girdlebound? let me know.

  • ich liebte diese said:

    Okay, der Vorschlag ist klasse, aber meiner bescheidenen Meinung nach nicht klasse genug.

  • meine quelle said:

    Öffnungszeiten: Täglich geöffnet: – Frühstück als kontinentales Buffet oder à la carte, jeweils 7 bis 11 Uhr – Mittagessen : 11 bis 17 Uhr – Abendessen : 17 – 21 Uhr Genießen Sie die entspannte Atmosphäre der Bar La Brise mit einer wunderbaren Aussicht auf den Sankt–Strom.

  • gehen sie zu meiner website said:

    Auch Carola lutschen spritzen ließ sich vollkommen Film gab es eine wunderbare Dreiecksgeschichte mit zwei Frauen und einem Mann.

  • mackage jackets said:

    BornFreeMom » Blog Archive » Carseat Safety by Christine Lee-McNaughton
    mackage jackets http://www.tekpro.ca/images/mackage.html

  • wholesale nfl jerseys said:

    BornFreeMom » Blog Archive » Carseat Safety by Christine Lee-McNaughton
    wholesale nfl jerseys http://www.nikejersey.org/nike-nfl-jerseys-c-1

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.