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I’m a proud mother of two children, aged 5 and 10 who grew up in the 80’s and I’m sure that like most of you, talking about car seats with my 65+ parents can be an interesting discussion. Anytime I dare to mention anything to do with car seats, my parents immediately say “When you were a kid you sat in the back window waving to the people behind us!”

The first thing that comes to my head is “how am I alive?” Then the second thought is “if it was only that easy! I quickly remind them that back then cars were made of metal, people didn’t speed over 130 km/h, and they paid attention at the wheel. I think its safe to say that you’re probably nodding your head in agreement.

Raising children in 2016 is nothing like it was back then! We now live in a world that is always in a rush to be somewhere 2 seconds faster then everyone else. We also have to worry about things like distracted driving and road rage, all while hoping that we have done the best we can to keep our little ones safe.

As we celebrate National Car Seat Safety Week, we though it would be the perfect opportunity to share a couple car seat safety tips with you.

Don’t be afraid to ask!

Having a baby can be the most exciting yet stressful time in your life. In most cases, the very first piece of baby equipment you will use is their car seat! Some parents may find themselves having a harder time figuring out how to put baby in it, then you did going through the birth process!!! When it comes to car seat safety we don’t have to be left in the dark. There are so many places and group and out there that you can reach out to for help. For instance, at baby enRoute we have fully trained car seat technicians that are always available in store or over the phone to help answer your questions. There are also many different car seat safety blogs, and Facebook groups that you can reach out to via the web. Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions when it comes to car seat installation or proper use.

Knowledge is understanding.

Once you have purchased a car seat, it is imperative that you thoroughly read through the manual that is provided. Just like children, no car seat is the same. Every seat has different stipulations and criteria that must be followed to make sure that the seat will do it’s job correctly. It’s a safe bet to say that you will have an entire line up of awesome friends and family that will be ready and willing to spread their parental expertise with you when it comes to car seats however, educating yourself is the best way to fully understand. Every car seat comes with a manual and it is strongly recommended that you sit down and read it from front to back before even attempting to install or use your car seat. If you are still unsure of anything, don’t be afraid to contact the manufacturer for clarification. Never forget that the child’s safety is in your hands.

Slow down and take your time.

I know first hand that life can be super busy and we are always in a rush to be somewhere but please, if there is one thing that you learn, slow down and take your time when fastening your child into their car seat. A car seat is designed to keep the child safe and secure in the event of a collision. As we all know, an accident can happen anywhere at anytime, so making sure that the child is properly fastened in their seat could possibly save their life!!!

Never stop learning!

It seems that just as quick as they grow out of their cloths, they grow out of their car seat! Yes you heard that right, you will most likely end up buying more then one or two car seats through the first 10 years of their life. In Canada we have 3 different types of car seats that are designed for various ages and stages. Infant car seats are one of those awesome inventions that were designed to make life easier. They are built with a detachable base that is installed in the vehicle so that the child can stay in the car seat while on the move. Before you blink, it will be time to toss that one and purchase a convertible car seat. This type of car seat will allow the child to remain rear facing (until 2 years old) and then turn around to forward facing until they are a minimum of 4 years old. A booster seat will be your last and final car seat purchase, which will be used until the child is 8-10 years old! Take a deep breath, because now that you have spent all that money it’s time to start saving for college lol

All of this information may seem like a lot to take in however, this is only the beginning. Just like parenting, there is always so much to learn and understand. If you start with these tips, you should be well on your way to ensuring that your child is safe while on the road.