By Sarah on High Country Mom Squad • on September 10, 2009
I remember when my first daughter was born prematurely, we didn’t get to put her in the carseat for the drive home right away. She was six weeks early, when I had severe preeclampsia, but thankfully, she did not have to go to the NICU (just a level 2 nursery), she didn’t have severe problems, and we went home after 12 days.
Before we took her home, we had to go through a “car seat test” where they set HipChick in her car seat for 30 minutes and monitored her oxygen saturation. Well, she failed the test, meaning that sitting up in her carseat made her chest compress so she couldn't breathe well. I had never heard of a “Car Bed,” but that’s what we took her home in! (I’ll try to find a picture today)
But speaking of carseat safety, I spent some time this week on a conference call with Amy Lupold Bair (Resourceful Mommy) and representatives the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) about Child Passenger Safety Week, September 12-18.
I learned tons of new information on that call, and I’ve been carting kids around for eight years! They talked about the LATCH system, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Out of eight years of carseats, I have never realized that I needed to use a tether or lower anchors!
NHTSA has put together tons of information for parents regarding Child Seat Safety, and the LATCH system, so thanks to modern technology and social media, we can be fully informed and armed with the information we need! Here are some websites where you can see information, videos, downloadable instructions, and more:
http://childcarsafety.adcouncil.org/ – Child Passenger Safety Landing Page
Here you can download fact sheets, diagrams, and instructions, and link to all the places Child Passenger Safety can be found on the web.
Child Passenger Safety: www.nhtsa.gov/cps
Inspection Station locator: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm
According to NHTSA, “According to a NHTSA study, 3 out of 4 kids are not as secure in the car as they should be because their car seats are not being used correctly. The LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) was developed to make it easier to correctly install car seats.”
So here are some quick facts from NHTSA:
Do I need to buy a new carseat? Is LATCH safer than using the seat belts for installation? Not necessarily. A carseat PROPERLY installed with a seat belt should be as safe as one properly installed with LATCH. LATCH should make it easier to get a proper installation.
Where do I get a tether anchor for my vehicle? Contact your local dealer or your manufacturer to see if a kit specific to your vehicle exists. Some dealers will install an anchor for free.
Can I use a tether on my convertible seat when it is rear-facing? NO, unless it is specifically stated in the manual. Britax and Sunshine Kids allow this on some of their models.
Click here to find a Car Seat Safety checkpoint near you! It definitely helps to have someone there to show you how to safely buckle in your car seat. I spoke with Appalachian Regional Health Care and Healthy Carolinians, and they are planning to do a Car Seat Safety Checkpoint this fall, probably in October. We’ll have more info on that soon.
Click here for all the places you can connect with NHTSA and receive valuable tips and updates!
Check out this handy widget with a video and lots of tips! You can share it on your blog, Facebook Page, email, or anywhere you can inset HTML code!
Stay safe and always buckle up!!