Being a parent is a wonderful experience and a great responsibility. One of the most important jobs you have is keeping your child safe and sound in every situation, especially when traveling in your vehicle. 

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand how crucial it is to take all necessary measures to protect your baby. Each year, thousands of children are killed or injured in crashes. Many of these injuries and deaths could have been avoided if they were properly secured in their car seat.

Whether you have a toddler or you are bringing home your newborn, an adequately installed gear can save their lives. When choosing the right car seat for your kids, you need to consider their size, weight, and age.

It is essential to try out the baby travel essentials before you purchase them. The same goes for toddlers. 
When choosing the car seat, here is what you should do:

place your toddler in a car seat you want to try out,
adjust the buckles and straps to make sure it works for him, 
ensure that the car seat fits securely and accurately in your vehicle.
And after you have taken all precautions, you can buy the one that suits your needs and set it as soon as possible. 

1. Keep the Straps Snug
You should never put a child in a car seat with straps that are too loose. Although some kids might say the opposite, the adequately snugged and secured belt cannot cause pain. Think of that in this way; if you jump out of an airplane, would you want your parachute to be loosened? Of course not!

Keep the straps over your little one’s shoulders and adjust the harness so you can slip one finger underneath the belt of his chest. Don’t forget to remove any bulky clothes so you don't have to loosen the belt which will decrease its effectiveness. Speaking of efficiency, you can choose the car seat that you can later transform into a stroller.

2. Keep Your Child in a Rear-Facing Car Seat
Safety experts strongly recommend avoiding a forward facing seat before the kids are 24 months old and 35 lbs. Children sitting in that position are more likely to be injured in a car accident because the harness keeps their bodies in place while their legs, arms, and head are not protected. This means that your child can suffer severe head, neck and shoulder injuries.

When it comes to these situations, babies are more vulnerable because they don’t have fully developed muscles to protect the spinal cord. But, when you place your child in a rear-facing car seat, it cradles and protects the shoulders and neck from the possible impact preventing injuries and keeping them safe.

3. Check the Expiration Date
Car seats are made of plastic, and that is a material that brittles after some time. The most important task is to find a quality car seat for your newborn and make sure it is strong enough to withstand an accident.  Depending on the model you want to purchase they usually last 6 to 8 years.

Borrowing it or buying used baby car seat online is never a good idea. So if you want the best protection for your child, you need to reconsider the plan to use someone else’s car seat. The bad thing when purchasing it online is that you can never be sure in its quality and for how long it has been used.

4. Make Sure Everyone is Buckled Up
You want to make sure that all your passengers are safe when riding in a vehicle with you. According to experts, if the person who sits in the back doesn’t use its seat belt, it can become a human missile. Although others are buckled up, there is a three time bigger chance they will die in the car crash because of the one who refused to take safety measures.

That maybe sounds horrible, but it is true, and that is why it is essential that everybody take precautions. Speaking of safety, it is necessary for you and your family to consider secured measures, along with some other things when buying a family car.

5. Know When to Start Using a Booster
Your kid needs to be mature enough, weigh 40 pounds and be at least 4 years old so he can sit properly in the booster. He needs to know there is no leaning over, no slouching, to understand the importance of safety belt, and that he can’t ever play with it. Some experts recommend that you shouldn’t use booster before the child is 6 years old.

To prevent major issues such as lower spinal cord injury, keep your little one in a booster until the belt fits properly. Children are 10 to 12 years old when they are ready to ride without it, but every parent knows what is best for their kiddo. Just don’t do it too early, because the goal is to avoid mistakes parents are making and keep your child safe and sound with or without a booster. 

Knowing how to buckle up your kids safely can be difficult. Using a car seat is the best way to protect children when traveling by vehicle. It can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, especially for toddlers and babies. 

Before purchasing it, you need to consider your child’s age, size, and weight and be very careful when choosing the right one that will fit properly in your car. When you have selected it, be sure to try it out, keeping in mind that store illustrations and displays might not show the correct usage. Learn how to install it correctly and keep your kids safe and sound.