CAR SEAT SAFETY TEACHING TOOL Teaching Considerations Teaching Tips Understands/ Further Date/ Demonstrates review/ Initials Understanding More Information Teaching Guide: Choosing the Right Car Seat— General Care Initiate at 30-32 weeks post- Guidelines Conceptual age Your baby should never ride in a motor vehicle unrestrained. Make your car seat purchase at least 1-2 Target Date to weeks prior to the baby’s discharge from Initiate:_________ the hospital. Choose the proper size seat-an infant seat Teaching completed:_______ that is designed for a baby who weighs less than 20 pounds. Do not choose a seat with a shield, abdominal pad or Car Seat test done armrest. A 5-point harness system is the Date_________ preferred safety system. Purchase a new seat if possible. Car Special positioning seats expire after about 6 years. Recommendations: If a second hand seat is the only option, call NHTSA (800-424-9393) for recall information and verify that the car seat has never been in an accident. Never re- use a car seat that has been in an accident. Purchase a car seat that meets federally approved standards. Look for the sticker on the seat. Read the vehicle owners manual and the car seat manufacturer information before using the car seat. The information will indicate whether locking clips or a different buckle are required to secure the seat properly. Practice placing the car seat in the car before discharge to ensure that the car seat conforms well to the car.*** when seat is grabbed at the seat belt path, it should not move side to side more than an inch. Always secure your own seat belt; this ensures your own safety and the likelihood that you can respond to you baby if an accident occurs. Never leave the baby unattended in the car seat. Car seats are for car travel. Infants need a variety of developmental experiences and should not sit for long periods in a car seat when not traveling in a car. Teaching Tips Understands/ Further Date/ Demonstrates review/ Initials Understanding More Information Placing Your Baby in the Car Seat Measure the distance from the lower strap to the bottom of the seat and from the crotch to the back of the seat. It should be no more than 10 inches from the lower strap to the bottom of the seat and 5 inches from the crotch to the back of the seat. Practice securing your baby in the car seat prior to his/her discharge. Assess for safety and comfort. Dress baby in an outfit that allows access between the legs. Do not dress in heavy snowsuit /coat or wrap in a blanket before placing in the car seat. A blanket can be placed over them after securing them in a seat. The baby’s buttocks and back should be flat against the seat. The seat should be placed rear facing, away from air bags, and preferably in the back seat of the vehicle until the infant is 1 year of age AND 20 pounds, whichever comes LAST Adjusting the harness and straps The seat should be in a semi –reclined 45-degree angle. Use a 3 or 5-point harness system to secure your baby into the seat.( 5- point preferred) Harness straps should be at or below the shoulder level (this is generally the lowest position) When securing the harness straps around the baby, you should be unable to pinch the strap at the level of the collarbone. The harness straps must be snug. The harness retainer clip should be at the level with the baby’s armpits. Make sure all adjustments are made so that the baby fits snugly into the car seat Never place extra cushioning under or behind the baby. This includes head positioning devices. Small rolled towels or blankets may be placed at the baby’s side or in the crotch area to aid positioning.