There is much more focus on child safety than there was when I was a kid. We weren’t required to wear seat belts until 1986. Prior to that, safety was an “option” and my Mother’s arm was our seat belt. Now, we are even beginning to see seat belts in school buses. Here are a few of the most current issues regarding child car seats in vehicles.

There is no question that a properly installed car seat can prevent serious injuries to a child and perhaps even save a life. But, studies have shown that the amount of time your child spends in that car seat can cause long-term health issues such as cancer and hormone disruption because most car seats still contain dangerous chemicals. And, just when we thought they were completely safe!

Due to an outdated law from the 1960’s when more people smoked, car upholstering began to be made with flame retardant fabrics. In 1981 kid seats adopted these standards. And most child safety seats today have these dangerous chemicals that can be harmful, even fatal to a child, over time. There are petitions you can find online to help stop these flame retardant chemicals from remaining standard in car seats.

Also, when it comes to child safety in vehicles, a recent crash test shows that, when a child is wearing a heavy winter coat, it may feel like they are strapped snugly into their car seat when, actually, the straps are dangerously loose. Experts say you should always strap your child securely into their car seat without their coat on. Instead of putting the coat on the child, put the coat over them. Or you can even use a blanket. When strapping a child into a car seat, there should be a nice, tight fit of the harness to the child’s body. You should not be able to pinch any webbing up at the shoulder area. And the harness clip (the clip across the chest) should be at armpit level. As for the coat, the same applies to adults. Never wear a heavy coat under a seat belt.

As new child safety standards evolve, we will keep you up to date. After all, you can never be too safe when it comes to your mini me.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

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