This post is sponsored by Chicco, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own
When I became a mom three years ago, I knew nothing about car seat safety. I remember taking my installed car seat (which my husband installed) to our local fire station a few weeks before my son was born to have it inspected. I left that fire station feeling good knowing that our car seat was safely installed, but I remember the inspector telling us (according to the NHTSA) that of the 3,500 child restraint systems used, 72 percent were used improperly that year. This scared the crap out of me. How many kids were out there riding around in unsafe car seats? I promised myself that day that I would make sure to properly educate myself on car seat safety and do whatever I had to do to keep my kids safe, like keeping them rear-facing as long as I can. September is Baby Safety Month and with the birth of our new daughter and this week being National Child Passenger Safety Week, I thought this would be a great time to post about the importance of car seat safety.
How Long Should I Keep My Child Rear-facing?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently updated their recommendations around how long children should be kept rear-facing in the car – for as long as possible, until they have reached the rear-facing height and/or weight limits of their car seat. For Chicco families, that means maxing out the height and weight limits of the NextFit car seat – 40 pounds or 49 inches.
The rear-facing position is the safest because the child’s safety seat does a better job of supporting the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in a crash, because it distributes the force of the collision over the entire body. Rear-facing car seats prevent a child’s head from being thrown violently away from their body from a frontal car crash and instead their head is cradled in their car seat.
Is It Okay To Use An Old Car Seat I Already Have?
Do car seats expire? They sure do! Right before our daughter was born four weeks ago, I pulled down an extra car seat that was given to us from my brother that he used with his kids. I checked the expiration date and sure enough it had expired this summer! Any time you use a car seat, be sure to check the seat for a label or imprint indicating the date of expiration. Often the expiration date is 6-10 years after its date of manufacture, but this can vary by brand. Some fire stations will recycle expired car seats and there are even stores out there that will recycle your expired seats and offer you a discount on a new one!
What Car Seat Will Allow Me To Keep My Child Rear-facing for As Long As Possible?
When my son was born three years ago, we purchased a Chicco KeyFit Car seat. When we registered for this car seat, we did a lot of research and found that Chicco was a great brand. Not only are they a leader in car seat safety and manufacturing, but they have an award-winning car seat portfolio that includes their top-rated KeyFit 30 car seat, their NextFit Convertible Car Seats, the first-of-its-kind Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat, as well as harness, backless and belt-positioning booster seats. We loved this car seat and even bought the Chicco KeyFit Caddy Stroller to go with it that I took with me everywhere! A few years ago, Chicco developed a new car seat, the Fit2 Infant & Toddler Car Seat, which is designed to make it more convenient than ever for parents to keep their children rear-facing for as long as possible. Without taking up more room in your car, the Fit2 easily converts from Infant Position to Toddler Position, and offers a unique one-hand carry handle adjustment.
The Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat offers more reclined seating for both newborns and infants and extended legroom for toddlers thanks to an innovative 2-stage base that allows you to easily convert it from infant to toddler position with just the lift of a handle (so easy!)
The Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat also has some pretty amazing features like:
- A removable canopy
- A unique one-hand carry handle adjustment
- Easy-pull adjustable headrest
- Innovative chest clip designed for infants and toddlers
- An ultra-padded removable newborn insert
- One-hand level adjustment
- No-thread harness with one-pull tightener
The Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat also has click-in convenience for travel system use and clicks into all of the Chicco strollers. I love that I can I re-use my stroller for our new baby without having to buy a whole new travel system!
Chicco’s recent car seat safety study..
Chicco explored where parents were getting their information and what would prompt parents to put children in the forward-facing position prematurely. The good news is that, rather than going to a search engine, it’s pediatricians who are the go-to source for information on a child’s health and well-being, particularly car seat safety advice. More than seven-in-10 (71%) parents say they talk to their pediatrician about when it’s right to turn their child around.
However, when it comes to turning children to forward-facing prematurely, parents are projecting their child’s perceived level of comfort, thinking a child’s legs looked cramped (40%) or a child simply looks uncomfortable rear-facing (32%).
So in an effort to help spread the word to other parents to keep their kids rear-facing for as long as possible, please share this post or pictures of your own rear-facing kids in honor of Baby Safety Month. Chicco has become a trusted brand with both of our babies now and if you are looking for a car seat that will provide you with convenience and safety, I highly recommend the Fit2 Car Seat from Chicco!
Chicco’s car seat line is designed to help parents keep their children as safe as possible on the road at every stage. To learn more about the right Chicco car seat for you, visit https://www.chiccousa.com/choosing-a-car-seat/.