“So next time you buckle your child in, ask yourself… would I be confident in turning them upside down in their seat right now?”
This is a question an Australian mom posed on Facebook as she shared valuable tips on car seat safety. And the picture she attached to the post says almost as much as the words.
Her 4-year-old child, buckled in his car seat, is suspended into the air and tilted forward by her and the child’s dad.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a photo like this. But in this case, both parents are paramedics, with 20 years of combined experience.
And they’ve seen a lot of accidents.
“We’ve seen car seats ejected from vehicles, we’ve seen cars that have rolled over so many times you can barely tell which way is up, we’ve seen accidents where you would be certain there would be no survivors. ”
Then she shares this startling fact.
“Between my husband and I, in our 20 years experience, we have NOT seen a single child harmed in a car accident where the child was restrained in their seat properly.”
The mom goes on to say that it doesn’t so much matter how much you paid for a car seat. Whether you spend $600 or $200, it’s no different. What’s more important is how your child is strapped in.
“Car seats have incredible safety designs now, they are designed to cocoon your child, protect them as they roll and are thrown around in an accident. But they can only do this if your child is restrained properly.”
She then poses several questions in the Facebook post to help parents determine if their child’s car seat straps are tight enough:
“Can they pull their own arms out of them? Can you only fit one or two fingers underneath them? Do they have a big puffy jacket on that stops them from being strapped in properly?”
Experts also say you should never be able to pinch excess strap once the child is buckled into their seat. Bulky jackets and clothing should be removed prior to buckling your child in and, if your child is in a harness seat, the chest clip should always be at armpit level.
[h/t: Scary Mommy]