5 Common Car Seat Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

A car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make when preparing for the arrival of a new baby. However, even once you have picked one, which is challenging enough in itself, there are still so many things that could go wrong.
From placing the car seat in the wrong spot to not reading the manufacturer’s instructions, read on to discover five common car seat mistakes. Plus, how to avoid them.

# Car Seat Mistake 1: Buying a used car seat

Preparing for the arrival of a baby is expensive. There is no denying that, which is why many parents choose to buy some of their baby essentials online. Unfortunately, although significantly cheaper, you should not buy a used car seat.
If a car seat has previously been in a crash, is older than six years, or appears damaged in any way, this can make it unsafe. Even if someone is selling what they say is a brand-new car seat, how can you be sure that it has not been compromised?

# Car Seat Mistake 2: Placing it in the wrong spot

One of the most common car seat mistakes that new parents make, placing the car seat in the wrong spot can be incredibly dangerous. The safest place to install a car seat is in the back seat, as this is away from any active airbags.
Ideally, you should place car seats in the center seat at the back of your vehicle, as this lowers the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

# Car Seat Mistake 3: Not reading the manufacturer’s instructions

Before you start to install your chosen car seat, you should always carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions. This will help to ensure you install it in the right way and help to prevent any issues from occurring once your child is in the seat.
Although there is nothing wrong with watching online tutorials or YouTube videos showing you how to install a car seat. Unless these are made by the manufacturers themselves, they are not as trustworthy as the manual.

# Car Seat Mistake 4: Placing the chest clip too low

The chest clip on a car seat has a very important job, helping to keep the harness straps in the right place on your child’s shoulders so that they are protected if a crash occurs.
If you place the chest clip too low, the harness may slip off of their shoulders, allowing your child’s body to move around too much during a crash. Make sure you line the chest clip up with your child’s armpits to prevent slipping from occurring.

# Car Seat Mistake 5: Moving to a forward-facing seat too soon

Parents are often eager to see their child’s face in their rearview mirror which can lead to them changing to a forward-facing car seat too soon. However, the longer you stick to rear-facing, the safer it is for your child.
Ideally, you should wait until your child reaches the highest weight or height for their current car seat before you move them to a forward-facing one.

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