I thought all of my baby gear research was over now that Alison has been here for 8 months. This week I learned that's not the case. Although she still fits in her infant seat, I have started to look into her convertible seat and that's when I hit a goldmine of new information.
It didn't take long before I realized that our car seat, installed and inspected by a "trained" car seat technician (local firefighter) was IMPROPERLY installed. That's right, Alison is now 8 months old and she has been cruising around her entire life in a car seat that was not properly installed. Worse still? It sounds like its a very VERY common issue.
I won't go into the intricacies as to how it was improperly installed but I will urge you to re read both your car seat and car manuals because, although we followed them to a T, the wording was a bit confusing. Apparently our car seat was okay to be installed the way it was (with LATCH in the center of the vehicle) but our car wasn't compatible with that installation (are you confused yet?)
Okay so I wanted to make a post sharing some of my new information and hopefully someone will read this and be inspired to check their child's seat. Even if to make sure they are harnessed correctly.
1) Federal law states that all children under one AND twenty pounds or more need to be in rear facing car seats. Not one or the other BOTH.
2) Further, it is highly recommended by the AAP to continue to rear face your children for as long as possible - 4 years if you can, because it truly is the safest way for children to ride in a vehicle.
3) When rear facing, harnesses are to be at or below baby's shoulder, when forward facing, they are to be at or higher than their shoulders.
4) (Probably the most shocking to me) It is highly HIGHLY recommended that baby's who travel on airplanes do so in a carseat. Does that sound over the top? Think about it - most aircraft crashes or issues happen during take off and landing and also include turbulance. "Lap babies" are basically projectiles waiting to happen. I never thought that we are told to stow laptops and even our peanuts - but baby is to stay in our lap and we'll just hope for the best if we crash going 150mph on the runway (yikes!)
There is a ton more info that I have been gobbling up and I still haven't landed on our will-be convertible car seat. I know its uncouth to tell other mothers to check and recheck matters that concern their children's safety (no one wants to offend a momma, right?) but please, look into it. Spend an hour researching at some of the links I provided and find some on your own. You may be set but you may need to make adjustments. Either way, its better to know your sweetie is the safest they can be when traveling.