Keeping babies safe when they are in the car involves so much more than simply buckling them up, it also involves making sure that their car seat keeps them safe while on the road. Keeping children safe has been Dr. Allen Menkin mission for more than forty years. In 1974, after receiving his Doctor of Medicine degree, he set up the first children’s seat belt and car seat program in New Jersey. For first time parents, using a car seat correctly can be tricky. Here are things you need to know to make sure you are using your car seat correctly.
- The car seat should always be placed in the back seat, facing backward. The best place is in the middle of the seat but can be placed on either side of the car if you can’t place it securely in the middle. Facing backward is the best way to protect their neck, head, and spine if you are in an accident. They should remain rear facing until around two years old.
- The seat shouldn’t pivot, slide, wobble, or tip. It shouldn’t move more than an inch forward or to the side. To make sure it is secured tightly, hold the top edge of the seat and push it downward, the back of the seat should stay in place at the same angle.
- Never place your baby in the car seat with a jacket or snowsuit on. This adds an extra layer between the harness and your baby, making it difficult to get the harness straps tight enough.
To ensure you have installed the car seat correctly, get a car seat safety check from your local police or fire station, car dealership, or baby store. Dr. Allen Menkin is the owner and CEO of Plaza Family Care in New Jersey.