Parents’ responsibilities towards children revolve not just around health, nutrition and education but safety as well. For me, it’s very important that I ensure her safety on the road, for example.
When I started out with using the car seat for my baby. I received a lot of flak from my elders. They rested their case with ‘She cries so much!’ I didn’t respond to any of the hollering because I had zero intent of jeopardizing her safety over a few minutes of howling.
• I USED A CAR SEAT FOR MY BABY AND IT WAS TOUGH
Getting a baby accustomed to a car seat is no small feat and certainly calls for a triumph dance when you are there. So brace your patience, up your resilience threshold and plug those ears! Loads of unhealthy food for the back seat passenger will help! I discovered my baby’s great arm swing while she was buckled in. An occasional shoe, her Baby Einstein, sprinkles of puffed rice and a lot of other things I can’t list were often flung in my direction. From a lovely toddler, she would morph into a major crier. I often thought of giving up on my attempt to buckle her in. But that meant that my hope for tomorrow would die too!! And I absolutely had to make the 45 minutes’ drive to the mall with both baby and me alive!
• I USED A CARSEAT BECAUSE IT KEPT MY PRECIOUS CARGO SAFE
The entire population on my side of the planet must’ve asked me why I used a car seat though I had a nanny for the baby. To those who obviously missed the obvious, I would say “I like to hear my baby cry!” ARRRHH!
In my parenting book, the nanny’s arm across the baby’s torso did not work as a safety feature. The scary truth is that even if I or the nanny are belted in, my child could be ripped from our arms by the force of a collision. Even if I strapped her in the same seat belt as the nanny (which seems rather impossible considering how wriggly my son was), the weight of an adult could actually crush the child in a distress situation.
• I USED A CAR SEAT BEACUASE IT GAVE ME TRAVEL SECURITY
I couldn’t live my life depending on co-passengers to hold my baby. I needed to take things in my own hands and teach my baby some basic car etiquette. The presence of a car seat has established a predictable car routine for her. This is a huge sanity saver for me. Needless to say, I knew she is secure even while I’m manoeuvring through the traffic choked streets of the city.
• I USED A CAR SEAT BECAUSE IT HELPED MY DAUGHTER’S DEVELOPMENT
Over a period of time, my daughter has found her attachment with her car seat. It is ‘HER’S’ and she feels independent and in charge of herself in there. Gradually she has learnt to feed herself, read to herself and hence accommodating her schedule while she manages these little tasks, is easier for me.
KNOWING YOUR CAR SEAT
Spending an obscene amount of money doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get the best-performing seat. Many mid-priced /discounted models work as well as, or better than the costlier ones.
Always remember and bear in mind the rules of safe driving, especially if you have your baby with you while driving. The only way forward is to have a baby car seat installed in your car and always check if the car seat is installed properly.
Birth up to Age 2: Rear-facing car seat / Rear Seating Convertible
For the best possible protection, infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat, until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. Keep checking the maximum weight and height as mentioned in the owner’s manual.
Age 2 up to at least Age 5: Forward-facing car seat / Convertible
When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat in the back seat, until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly: Booster seat
All children who have outgrown the forward-facing car seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the inbuilt car seat belts fit correctly.
I used this link to educate my children about the need to be harnessed in the car-seat: http://think.direct.gov.uk/education/early-years-and-primary/media/mr_lumpy/. You may find it helpful too!
Source of technical information about car seat: https://www.healthychildren.or..
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