“This just out… on car seats.” It’s a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics on car seats. Again. When data changes; when studies conflict with one another; you have to stay current, and you can’t believe everything you read on Facebook.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that kids (and their grown-ups, for that matter) are safer when buckled into their cars. Seat belts save lives, and if you’re too small to use the seat belt that came with your car, you need a car seat. After that, I’m not sure what I know. I do trust the American Academy of Pediatrics experts (and I count myself among them) to bring evidence-based research and to act in the role as child advocate. This is the car seat debate after all.
Companies make a lot of money selling car seats.
It’s a multi-billion dollar industry to manufacture car seats. And boy are some car seats expensive! I wish somebody would test one brand of car seat against another to see if the $39.95 car seat is as safe as the $349 model. As it turns out, that’s not an easy thing to do. Ease of car seat use? Now that we can rank and compare, and in the end when you’re struggling to get your child buckled in on a cold winter morning, you want to know that it doesn’t get any harder than this in another model.
Car seats expire.
And what’s up with car seat expiration dates? I’m pretty sure car seats don’t expire. Milk expires. So do eggs and chicken legs if you leave them in the fridge long enough. Car seats do get pretty grungy if you leave them in the back of the minivan without occasionally putting the gold fish back in the ocean where they came from. It takes about the same amount of time for these half eaten snacks to expire as it does for the eggs to go bad. Instead of letting your child’s car seat expire, take a good look at the kids’ car seats and clean them regularly. While you’re at it, check for cracked plastic or fraying shoulder straps. Make sure all the bolts look tight, and check anything else that The Transportation Safety guys think is important.
Here’s the latest on Car Seat Safety ideas from the American Academy of Pediatrics. In case the grandparents are looking for ideas to gift your children.