Learning about Car Seat Safety – #FordSeatSafety

27 Mar

IMG_20150324_154119_edit Last week we attended an event at the Nest Family Centre in Winnipeg all about car seat safety.

This is not one of my areas of expertise – our daughter is 9 now and when she was small I left installing car seats and reading the manuals up to my husband. When you have one car you’re not moving it around too much so I really didn’t even know how to install the first 2 you’d be using.

I thought I’d learn a little bit and had a few questions about booster seats since my daughter has now reached one of the three requirements for leaving a booster in our province.

It was a 90 minute event – and the entire time I was just learning and absorbing! There was so much I never knew. Lots of great tips from birth until you leave car seats and beyond.

Ford brought in Kelley Adams-Campos who’s a car seat tech, child safety tech and also wrote the manuals for Ford on seat safety so this was a treat to get to listen to a pro. One thing that really hit home for me was making sure everyone in the car is safe. She said the safest seat to install a car seat is the one where you can install it properly. And one where it will not interfere with the driver, or affect the safety of other passengers too. When mine was little we were so paranoid I know I often sat back there with her, or moved my passenger seat too far up to give tons of room around the car seat for some reason – big no no. The driver still needs to be able to drive properly of course, and no one should be putting their seat so close up that they’re risking themselves in a crash.

IMG_20150324_164456  They had a van seat set up to show how to install all the car seats so that was great to be able to really get a good view on that.

I loved learning that certain car seats really are easier to use and install – the hooks that attach to the latches in the car are really different on some. If you’re going to be moving the seat from car to car a lot that is something that would really be worth paying for. The latches in your car are safety regulated and all similar – but it’s the ones on the car seat to see. She even recommended taking your car to the store to test some out – some stores will allow that and that’s something I think that’s really worth it – you’ll have that car seat for years!

When it got to the info about the booster seats I was really shocked to see how much of a difference a booster makes, even on an older child. In Manitoba a kid has to be either 9 years old, 4’9″ or 80 lbs to get out of a car seat. Mine has reached the age, but not quite on the other two. But you only need to reach one. After seeing her show how much it affects their safety we will be keeping her in it a lot longer. The booster helps the belt position properly at the hips – otherwise kids end up with the lap belt part more around their stomach area and even in a minor crash that can cause major injuries. To move from a booster to just a seatbelt she recommended that their knees are able to bend properly where the seat does – which really varies car to car. And another one is that their feet can touch the floor – keeps the kids comfy, upright and safe. I’d recommend to any parent debating making the switch from booster to regular seat belt to really test that out in your vehicle. I don’t even know why they have the age and the weight as options.

inflatable seat belt  Another good tip is keeping the car safe for everyone – at all stages. We’re at that stage now – soon enough we won’t have a booster so how else can you keep passengers safe?

A lot of Ford vehicles now have inflatable seat belts at the back, which is really good for kids and seniors. It’s kind of neat technology – the belt deploys right before the other air bags in the car. It helps distribute crash force energy across five times more of the body that a regular belt which is amazing!

If you get a chance to attend a car seat clinic – do so! 🙂 There’s so much to learn for every stage – stuff every parent, grandparent and anyone responsible for driving kids should know. You can check with your insurance provider, local firehalls etc. and find someone to help you out.

Here are some great tips from Ford:

1 – Read your vehicle owner’s manual

2 – Read the car seat or booster owner’s manual

3 – Make sure restraints and harnesses are used properly

4 – New technology (like the inflatable seat belt) can make for a safer ride

5 – Don’t forget to lock the vehicle safety belt, if used

6 – Always make sure your child is secured properly in a device that is appropriate for their height, age and weight


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