Car Seat Checklist

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Top 10 Things to Do before you leave on holiday

 

  1. Right Seat. This is an easy one. Check the orange ECE label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
  2. Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are 13. It is safest for them.
  3. Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until 15 months as a minimum. Longer if you can wing it.
  4. Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base. Can you move it more than 2.5cm side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than 2.5cm.
  5. Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you’re good to go. The harness must be at or below shoulder level for rear-facing and at shoulder or above for forward-facing.
  6. Harness check: The harness belts must not be twisted. This can interfere with the tightening of the harness and can cause bruising during a crash.
  7. Airbag: If you have to install your car seat on the front passenger seat, make sure the airbag is deactivated.
  8. Toys and snacks: Make sure the toys and snacks you plan for your child to use during the journey will not become dangerous missiles in the event of a crash. Keep snacks healthy and low in sugar. You do not want a hyperactive niggly child distracting you from driving. Do not provide snacks and toys that can be a choking hazard.
  9. Stops: Plan stops along your journey for every 2 hours or 200km. If your child is under a year, stop more often. Let them run around and be active before you go again. Children’s blood oxygen levels tend to lower when they sleep in a car seat and a bit of activity will bring it up to normal again.
  10. Sleeping: Put your car seat in the reclined position before you leave if your child is likely to fall asleep. Keep a neck cushion or rolled-up cloth nappy handy and remember to use it around the front of their necks or chins and not behind. This will prevent airway obstruction.

 

Please read the vehicle and car seat instruction manuals to help you with this checklist. If you are having even the slightest trouble, questions or concerns, don’t worry about a thing, contact us on peggie@wheelwell.org.za