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Infant and child car seat safety basics

New parents seem to have an endless to-do list regarding their children's wellbeing. From ensuring that infants sleep safely, that toddlers have access to enough nutrition and that small children are hitting their developmental milestones, the challenges of new parenthood are never ending.

One important note on this lengthy to-do list is ensuring that babies and children remain safe while traveling in their parents' cars. In recent years, various government agencies and non-profit organizations have helped to educate parents about the critical importance of installing safety seats properly. Incorrectly installed safety seats can expose children to unnecessary safety risks. But car seat installation is not the only challenge parents face in keeping their children secure while traveling U.S. roads. 

Beyond safety seats

One of the more important considerations parents must contemplate is how their children's clothing may affect the function of their car safety seats. Bulky clothing may impede the ability of safety seat straps to function as they are meant to. As a result, it is important to avoid dressing babies and children in bulky coats and sweaters. Instead, straps should remain tight to the body and a blanket may be placed over the child for warmth.

In addition, it is important to inspect both your child's safety seat itself and the surrounding area for exposure to metal, sharp objects, rips and other potential hazards. When cars heat up, metal can burn children. When parents are driving, kids can grab dangerous objects and harm themselves in an instant. Regular backseat inspections will help to prevent these kinds of injuries.

Staying as safe as possible

Parents should also take care to replace their children's safety seats in the event of an accident. Even if a safety seat seems unharmed, the impact of the accident may have compromised the seat's stability and safety functions. Although it may be a pain to spend money to replace a child's seat, the peace of mind that comes along with knowing that your child is as safe as possible is priceless. 

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