When you’re out and about in Sydney, chances are you’re going to be doing it in a car. Even though we whine about the traffic, it’s still the favoured transportation method of most people (hey, like us!).
After you have kids, everything that seemed simple suddenly required a new learning curve to get right with your baby. Jumping in the car when you have a baby suddenly means installing a car seat.
If you’re anything like me, this is a foreign and daunting task. I have absolutely no idea how to put our car seat in and out of the car, and, to be honest, my husband’s not entirely sure either. We follow the instruction manuals and do our best, but we end up buckling it in and then wiggling it around, wondering if we’d put it in there correctly.
And we’re certainly not alone! It turns out that two in three car seats are not used properly, putting children at risk every time they’re taken for a drive in the car. Scary, isn’t it? Aren’t you just wondering if your child is in one of these two our of three car seats? I certainly am, which is why I have been checking out the new Transport for NSW’s website, childcarseats.com.au for expert advice.
The site gives info such as: car seats that have been scientifically tested for crash safety and ease of use, and gives star ratings so you can pick the best car seat for your child based on their height, age and weight.
You can also get tips on how to fit and use car seats correctly, and helps you locate your closet authorised fitting station, so you can get expert help if you need it.
Some tips that I found particularly helpful:
1. Parents should regularly check their seat is correct for their child’s age and size. It sounds obvious, but 50% of parents are not using the correct seat for their child (exactly — off I go to double check our seat!).
2. Check the straps aren’t twisted. (I’m guilty of this one.) The harness straps should be straight and in flat contact with the child.
3. Height is the most important factor when choosing a car seat. The new Child Car Seats site helps you choose the right seat, prioritising a child’s height over age and weight.
You can get more information on what type of car seat your child needs for their height, age and size and tips on installing and checking car seats at childcarseats.com.au