Today I have decided to write about the safety of our kids in travel. Precisely we will talk about How to Travel with a Car Seat in 2021?
Before going on, I invite you to also read two of my article related to baby car seats.
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How many times do we spend traveling during a day, a month, or a year? Did you ever think about it? I know that is personal because some of us love trips and some others not so much. Many of us are obligated to travel for work, school, or other daily obligations, and some others are eagerly awaiting the next journey as they embark on a new trip.
What I know for sure is that in many of our daily traveling, kids are part of them. In our daily lives, we have to accompany children to many different destinations, such as daycare or kindergarten, school, playground, various courses that help develop their talents, to the dentist, to the pediatrician, etc.
Personally, since I take care of my daughter by myself, besides her activities, I must take her with me in many other times that I trip for my issues. I know that many other mothers do the same things as me, and for all of us, it is significant to learn how to travel with kids safe.
Most of our daily traveling is by car, so the use of a car seat for our kids is necessary. We are all witnesses to car collisions that may have occurred to us. The presence of a car seat has saved the life of the child in most of these accidents. Otherwise, if our child travels without a car seat, the result of the accident collision can be fatal.
The following will discuss the use of a car seat, where and when to use it, the best safe practice tips, what to consider when installing a car seat, how to choose the right car seat for our baby, what are the other accessories needed to make a trip safe for our child and us. If you want to learn more about it, I invite you to read below.
6 Brilliant Ways to Use HOW TO TRAVEL WITH CAR SEATS
When our baby comes to life, one of the things we need to ensure for his safe travel is his car seat. Find below some of the uses of a car seat.
- Traveling by car. As well as the name itself, the car seat has the greater use when traveling together with our kids in various motor vehicles. Whatever vehicle we use, car seats designed to fit in and provide a smooth ride for both the child and the driver. The use of the car seat is a must for the baby’s safe since his first trip after leaving the maternity ward and for each subsequent daily traveling until he will be a toddler and reach not less than 65 pounds.
- Traveling by plane. Many of us choose to travel by plane for a family trip. In these cases, the airlines allow young children to travel by aircraft for free by staying in the same seat with one of the parents. But for a comfortable and safe trip, it is better than the baby to have her car seat in the aircraft. This way can be more expensive for you, but the baby safe is more important. You can always negotiate with airlines lines for a better price. Be sure that the car seat that you will buy certified for use in the aircraft.
- Traveling by cruise. Cruise vacations are one of the choices that many people make in recent years, and they are also preferred for family vacations by many of us. Some cruise allows the baby trip from six months old and some other when a baby is one year old. When the baby is in the first years of life, it is even practical and safe to take her with a stroller or a car seat during the day’s activity on a cruise. When you travel by cruise, you can choose to visit different destinations, where cruises stop. If you will take your baby with you, use the stroller, the car seat, or the baby carrier for a better and safer trip. The last important thing about taking your child’s car seat is to comply with the law.
- Traveling by camper. Many families like to travel by camper and educate their kids with this passion. If you have a baby or toddler in your camper, you must invest that your baby has his place in the camper and to install a car seat on it.
- Traveling by Bus. We can trip for vacation or other purposes by bus or another multi-passenger vehicle together with our kids. It is better to use a car seat certified for bus use and will be used only in the passenger’s seat.
- Traveling by truck. It recommended using car seat certified for trucks equipped with Type II seat belts.
Note: Preterm or low birth weight infants may be at particular risk in a vehicle or aircraft. According to the AAP, these infants may suffer breathing issues if improperly reclined in a car seat. When rear-facing, use the corrected age for preemies. It advised that you have your physician or hospital staff evaluate your infant and recommend the proper car seat or car bed before you and your infant leave the hospital.
Benefits of the Car Seat
- Reduce the risk of grave injury or death to the child from a crash. Using the car seat is vital for the child in every journey. More children are killed every year as passengers in car crashes than by any other type of injury. To reduce the risk of SERIOUS INJURY or DEATH, read the car seat owner’s manual and your vehicle owner’s manual before installing and using the car seat that you will buy. By properly using the right car seat and following the product manual instructions (and the instructions that accompany your vehicle), you will reduce the risk of grave injury or death to the child from a crash.
- It saves the lives of the driver and other passengers in the vehicle. A child who travels in his car seat guarantees calm and safer driving for the driver. Any distraction can be fatal.
- It helps in kid’s education since the use of a car seat is from birth. Kids that use regular car seats are more disciplined in travel and know the parent authority.
Note: Do not be misled by the commonly used term “safety seat”; no restraint system can prevent all injuries in all crashes. Many properly restrained adults and children injured in motor vehicle crashes, including relatively minor crashes, and a properly used child restraint is the best way to minimize injuries to the child and to increase the chances for the child’s survival in most crashes.
Some Best Safe Practice Tips.
- Everyone must journey buckled up, or the vehicle should not go and make no exceptions for adults or children. If someone unbuckles, stop the car. Being firm and consistent from the start will mean have objects such as lollipops or ice cream on a stick. The subject can injure the child if the vehicle swerves or hits a bump. DO NOT feed a child who is a trip in a car seat.
- Put sharp or heavy items in the trunk fewer discipline problems as children get older. An unrestrained person can be thrown into, and injure other passengers.
- NEVER try to tend to a crying child’s needs while driving. NEVER take a child out of a car seat for comfort while the vehicle is moving.
- DO NOT allow a child in a car to. Anything loose can be deadly in a crash.
- In hot or sunny weather, ALWAYS check the car seat for a hot zone before placing a child into the child restraint. The child could burn. Cover the car seat with a light-colored blanket when you leave the vehicle.
- The car seat must be securely fastened to the car, even when unoccupied, using the manual installation. An unsecured car seat may injure someone if a crash occurs.
- DO NOT use the cup holder to store cans or hard cups. Only for use with soft cups (such as Styrofoam or paper).
- DO NOT place any cups that contain hot liquids (such as hot chocolate or tea) in the cupholder.
- DO NOT attach additional items to the car seat that are not approved by the manufacturer. Items not tested with the car seat could injure the child.
How to use a car seat in the vehicle and some substantial advice about
When you decide to buy a convertible car seat, you must know that are two positions of installation in your vehicle. Below you will find a short description of each of them.
Rear-Facing Use for all kids from 4-50 pounds (2.3-18 kg) and head must be at least 1 inch below the handle. This way of car seat installation recommended in the two first years of a baby’s life. Infants who weigh less than 22 lb. (10 kg) MUST be rear-facing.
Forward-facing use for all kids and toddlers from 22- 65 pounds (10-30 kg) and Height up to 49 inches (125 cm). Do not use the leg extender when the car seat uses forward-facing. The Booster Car seat protects your kid from the larger body size.
Booster seat applies for all toddlers that weigh 30-110 pounds (14-50 kg), who have a height of 38-57 inches (96-145 cm), and are at least four years old.
Note: These dimensions averaged, as different brands may have other size segmentation for each installation mode. Always refer to the car seat user manual you will be purchasing.
Main recommendations for car seat use and installation
Air Bag Warnings
- Never place your child restraint Rear- Facing in a Vehicle seating location that has an active front airbag. If an airbag inflates, it can hit the child and car seat with great force and cause serious injury or death to your child. Review your vehicle owner’s manual for more information about airbags and car seat use.
- If, the rear seat of your vehicle equipped with side airbags refer to your vehicle owner’s manual before placing the car seat in a seating position fitted with a side airbag. DO NOT place any objects between the restraint and the side airbag, as an expanding airbag may cause the items to strike the child.
Position and Location Warnings:
- ALWAYS read and follow exactly the instructions that accompany your vehicle and the car seat.
- It is better to place a car seat both rear-facing and forward-facing in the vehicle’s back seat. If your vehicle does not have a back seat, review your vehicle owner’s manual for the right place of installation.
- Choose the correct mode of use for the car seat, depending on your child’s size.
- Select a suitable location for the car seat in your vehicle.
- Some car seat does not fit all vehicles or all seating locations. There are many thousands of combinations of vehicle makes, models, child restraint configurations, seat belt designs, and seat cushion shapes. The easiest way to determine whether the car seat is suitable for a particular seating position is to check for a tight installment. If the car seat cannot right be installed, DO NOT use it. Consult the vehicle owner’s manual, try a different seating location, or call the manufacturer.
- According to statistics, children are safer when properly restrained in a rear seating position than in the forward-facing seating position. Generally, the center rear-facing is safest and should be used, if available.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that children be rear-facing until age two or until they reach the maximum rear-facing height and weight rating for their seat. When forward-facing, children should use the built-in harness system for as long as possible until they reach the maximum forward-facing weight or height for their car seat
- The rear-facing car seat must properly level: 1) Too reclined can result in injury or ejection. 2) Too upright can result in breathing difficulties. When reading the level indicator, the vehicle must be on level ground. Use corrected age for preemies, as shown in the product manual
LATCH system and vehicle seat belt system warnings:
- Secure car seat with a vehicle seat belt or LATCH according to the definition in the car seat manual.
- The Vehicle seat belt system MUST hold a car seat securely. Not all vehicle seat belts can use with a car seat.
- Always secure a car seat with LATCH or a vehicle seat belt, even when unoccupied. In a crash, an unsecured car seat can injure passengers.
- Don’t remove the LATCH system from a car seat. If using a vehicle seat belt to secure a car seat, LATCH connectors must be stored.
- Never leave a child unattended, even when sleeping. The Child may become tangled in harness straps and suffocate or strangle.
- Before Installation with launch straps, read carefully your vehicle manual, and the car seat manual.
- Never attach two LATCH connectors to one vehicle’s lower anchor point unless specifically allowed by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Do not use both the vehicle belt and LATCH belts at the same time when using the car seat rear or forward-facing.
- Do not install by LATCH Strap for a child weighing more than 45lb (20kg)
- Harness straps need to be even with or just below the top of a child’s shoulders, and the chest clip is at armpit level.
- Install the car seat tightly in your vehicle. The Car seat should not move both the rear-facing and the forward-facing belt path more than 1”. (2.5 cm) from side to side, front to back.
- Adjust or remove the vehicle headrest in the seat where the car seat is to be fastened, so that the back of the car seat rests against the vehicle seatback.
- The headrest on the vehicle seat in front of the child should put in its lowest position. The vehicle seat back that the child faces must be fully padded and free of any hard objects.
- DO NOT use the car seat in a vehicle with door-mounted seat belts.
- DO NOT use a car seat in a vehicle with seat belts that automatically move along the vehicle frame when the door opened. These seat belts will not hold a child restraint properly.
- If the vehicle seat belts are not routed and fastened correctly, the child restraint may not protect the child in a crash.
- DO NOT allow the seat belt release button to touch the car seat. Accidental contact may cause the seat belt to release. If necessary, turn the seat belt release button away from the child restraint or move the car seat to a different location.
- Failure to adjust the vehicle seat belts snugly around the child may result in the child striking the vehicle’s interior during a sudden stop or crash. Grave injury or death may occur.
- It is recommended to use vehicle seat belts that have a lap/shoulder combination with a booster car seat.
- DO NOT use the booster car seat if the child’s ears are above the back of the booster seat headrest.
- The shoulder belt MUST NOT cross the child’s neck or fall off the child’s shoulder. Try another seating, if you cannot adjust the shoulder belt to properly lay midway between the child’s shoulder and neck AND at or above the shoulder.
Safety Information warnings
- STOP using the car seat, or the accessory as defined in the product manual. Respect the expiration date and do not use it after this date for your child’s safety. In some manufacturing manual, the maximum period of use for the child restraint or base is ten years.
- If a car seat is in a crash, it must replace it. Please, do not use it again! A collision can cause invisible damages, and using it again could result in grave injury or death.
- Do not use a car seat if it is damaged or missing parts. It is better to use accessories or parts of the same brand as the car seat for safe and better performance of the car seat.
For a safety trip, recommended to use the right travel accessories, like a baby car mirror, baby car seat strap, baby head support, kids travel pillow, etc. It is better to buy accessories at the same brand with the car seat for a better fit and function.
Care and Cleaning tips
For maintenance and cleaning of the cat seat, read the product manual carefully.
- Metal and plastic parts cleaned with mild soap and cold water and dried with a soft cloth. Do not use abrasive cleaners or solvents.
- Buckle cleaned with a damp cloth Harness straps may be spot cleaned. Refer always to your car seat manual for full cleaning instructions.
- Take care not to damage any labels.
- Machine wash the seat pad separately in cold water.
- NEVER use child restraint without the seat pad.
How to choose the right car seat [Ten Helpful Tips]
The car seat is vital for a child on the traveling time. When the baby has to leave the hospital, we need to have the right car seat for his journey. What to keep in mind when we choose a car seat for the baby?
- Before buying a car seat, make sure to read your vehicle manual carefully. You need to buy a car seat that fits with your vehicle and permit the other passengers to travel safely and comfortably.
- The car seat must be by the weight of our baby. When the baby is born prematurely or is underweight, we should consult with the pediatrician to select the appropriate car seat.
- If the weight of a child is at least 4 pounds, then it recommended, for long time use, to choose a convertible car seat. These designs created to use as rear-facing during the two years of the child’s life and after that in forward-facing use and booster use. In this way, the child can use the car seat longer.
- The car seat must have a position extension panel for providing additional legroom. This feature allows your child to ride rear-facing longer safely.
- It is better than the car seat to maintain a grand-baby weight for rear-facing use, allowing your child to ride rear-facing longer safely.
- The car seat must be certified and tested for a combination of the most rigorous crash tests. These tests help to protect the child in frontal, side, rear & rollover crashes, and additional testing based on the New Car Assessment Program and for extreme car interior temperatures.
- Choose a car seat that has made of materials that made the baby travel comfortably, depending on the temperature changes. For example, when it is hot, the baby must feel cool with his car seat.
- Choose always brands recognized and tested by other buyers.
- Choose always a car seat that has a higher rating than similar products.
- Choose a car seat that has a warranty from the manufacturer.
Conclusion-How To Travel With Car Seat In 2021
At the last of this article, I want to strongly recommend that you always remember to check your local or state laws regarding car seat usage. The car seat is a necessity for child security, but remember that child life is our responsibility. We must drive correctly and use the car seat. I hope that this post is helpful not only for the new parents but for everyone that will have a baby on the board during the next trip. I want to thank you for reading How to travel with a car seat in 2021.
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