One of the most important things to consider when you have a child is car seat fitting. Fitting a car seat correctly is of utmost importance for your child’s safety. Did you know that 2 out of 3 children travelling in cars are not correctly restrained in their seat? This is a shocking statistic, and something we hope to be able to rectify for the safety of all our little ones. In this article, we will go about the steps you can take to correctly fit a car seat, so keep on reading to find out more!
First Of All, Choose The Appropriate Seat
Before even considering fitting a car seat, you need to ensure that you have purchased a seat that suits your child’s needs to a tee. You will need to choose a seat that is appropriately sized for your child’s height and weight in accordance with the Australian safety standards. If you are having trouble choosing the perfect seat, always go into a store and ask for assistance. Store assistants will be able to help you make the right decision when it comes to buying the safest seat for your child. A common mistake is that many parents purchase seats according to their child’s age, rather than their height or weight. Because children of the same age can vary in height and weight, it is always advised that you purchase a seat based of your child’s unique needs.
For optimal levels of safety, it is always advised that you utilise a 5-point harness as a part of your car seat. A properly fitted harness will provide you with the best possible protection for your child in your vehicle. These harnesses have straps that go over your child’s shoulders, hips and buckles at their crotch. Think of this as a seat belt for your car seat – an absolute essential when it comes to looking out for both your safety and your child’s safety. Regularly check that your child still fits into the harness, and replace it with a new one once you start to notice your little one is outgrowing their current harness.
Pay Attention To Your Child’s Clothing
In the colder months when your child is decked out in winter gear, the thickness of their apparel can actually prevent a snug fit of your harness. Your child may seem securely snug in the harness when in actual fact, the harness is not fastened tight enough due to thick clothing getting in the way. This is why it is always advised that you adjust the harness before putting your child’s coat on, dress them, and then buckle them in. Don’t worry if the harness seems a wee bit too snug, this is the way it should be when your little one is in his or her winter gear.
Check On Each and Every Trip!
Just because your car seat and harness seem perfectly fit on one trip doesn’t mean you should stop checking on each and every trip. When it comes to your child’s safety, there is no room for complacency. Everytime you and your little one hop into the car, you need to check that the harness straps are firm, yet comfortable. A good tip to keep in mind is that you should be able to fit two fingers between your child and the strap. Based off what clothing your child is wearing, the straps may need to be adjusted accordingly. This is why checking before every car trip is absolutely essential.
Consult a Professional
Last but not least, if you don’t feel confident enough to fit a car seat on your own, it is always advised that you consult a professional. Watch your car seat professional fit the seat in and take notes for the future. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as well, as this will assist you in fitting any future seats in with more confidence. We usually advise that everyone consults a professional for at least the first time they are fitting a car seat in, to ensure that everything is done properly and preventing any room for potential error.
We hope that this article has been handy in giving you some insight into how you can go about correctly fitting a car seat.