My girls are two of the most important people in my life. As their mother, is my job to nourish, protect, and help them grow into adulthood. While I may compromise in a lot of areas, keeping them safe will never be a place of compromise. Whether it’s physically, mentally, or emotionally, I will do everything I can to ensure their safety. Because it’s National Child Passenger Safety Week, I thought this would be a great time to share my thoughts on car seat safety for kids.
What is Child Passenger Safety Week?
According to the National Child Passenger Safety Board, “Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts. Getting safety information and car seat instructions to parents and caregivers is crucial to saving young lives.” The goal of this board is to educate and inform parents and care givers about the property safety of child passengers.
Child Passenger Safety Laws
In Alabama, children must be in forward-facing seats or convertible seats until age 5 or 40 lbs. Infant seats and convertible seats are required to be rear-facing until at least 1 year old or 20 lbs. in weight. Children must remain in booster seats until the age of 6. While there are no laws about transitioning from a high back to a backless booster, the American Academy of Pediatrics has excellent recommendations. When the seat belt fits properly across the lap and shoulders of the child, they are ready for a backless booster seat.
How We Made Our Decision
For my family, the decision to transition from one safety seat to another came down to height. My girls were never going to beat the maximum weight, but they did out grow the height restrictions rather quickly. In hindsight, I would never have wasted my time or money on “bucket” or “click in” car seats. New parents, I highly recommend starting right away with a convertible car seat that can transition from rear to forward facing as your child grows. Yes, you won’t be able to “carry” them around in the car seat, but, trust me. It will be more efficient in the long run for you!
Which Brand Do You Choose?
Once you’ve educated yourself on the proper kinds of safety for each stage of life, what kind of seat do you get? What brand do you choose? There are so many out there to choose from, it can be difficult to wade through all the noise. One of the best brands I’ve come into contact with is Diono. Founded in 1999, Diono is consistently an award winner and innovator in child safety.
Consistently innovative and always concerned about safety, Diono has racked up some major accolades over the years. I first heard of Diono when they invented their Radian rXT product that folded flat for storage and travel. That’s a huge plus for families who need a safe seat on the go! The product our family currently loves is the Monterey XT booster seat, which was also a first of its kind. Not only does the Monterey expand height wise, it also expands width wise. This is a BIG deal if you’ve got a kid that needs a little more room than a traditional booster can provide.
Monterey XT Booster Seat
We love the Monterey XT because it’s comfortable and safe. The extra-deep aluminum reinforced sidewalls add side impact protection, which makes mom feel safe. The EPS foam lining and the longer bottom seat were created to provide more comfort, which makes kids happy. Another fun bonus? There are TWO retractable cup and snack holders! Moms everywhere are thanking the seat designers for that feature!
No Matter What, Safety is First
No matter what brand car seat you choose, make sure you are properly installing the seat. If you’re not sure how to install it, get out that car seat manual and read it! Also, most local fire stations have car seat technicians on hand to help ensure your seat is properly installed. Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for more details and to find an inspection station near you.