Most experts agree that it is generally safe to put a baby in a stroller without a car seat from around 6 months old. This is because at this age babies are able to sit up unaided and have better head control.
What are the dangers of not using a car seat?
There are many dangers associated with not using a car seat when traveling in a vehicle. Perhaps the most obvious danger is that infants and small children could be ejected from the vehicle during a collision or sudden stop.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers.
In addition to the risk of the ejection, not using a car seat can also lead to serious injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, and internal bleeding.
Even when properly restrained in a car seat, infants and small children are more vulnerable to injuries than adults due to their smaller size and underdeveloped bones and organs.
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How can you tell if a car seat is installed correctly?
If you’re not sure if your car seat is installed correctly, there are a few things you can check.
Make sure the seat is at the correct angle. The car seat should be reclined at a 45-degree angle so that your child’s head doesn’t flop forward.
Check that the harness is snug. You should be able to fit no more than two fingers under the straps.
Make sure that the car seat is properly secured in the car. The seat belt or LATCH system should be tight, with no slack.
If you’re still not sure, you can always take your car seat to a local fire station or police station for a safety check.
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What are some tips for using a car seat correctly?
- Read the car seat manual before installation
- Get help from a certified car seat technician if needed
- Make sure the car seat is compatible with your vehicle
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation
- Ensure that the car seat is in the correct position
- Make sure the child is properly secured in the car seat
- Check the car seat regularly to make sure it is installed correctly and has not been damaged