Parents want to keep their children safe at all times, especially when travelling. Using a car seat is one of the most important ways to ensure that your child stays secure during a ride in a vehicle. But do you know when it’s time for your child to face forward in their car seat? In this article, we will discuss safety requirements and guidelines on when it’s appropriate for your child to make the switch.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping infants and toddlers facing backward until they are two years old or have reached the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the car seat. A rear-facing car seat supports an infant’s head, neck, and spine better than any other seats since these parts are still developing at this stage. Hence, younger children should remain rear-facing as long as possible.
“The longer children can remain rear-facing securely, the safer they’ll be, ” says Benjamin Hoffman, M. D. , F. A. A. P. , professor of pediatrics with Oregon Health & Science University. “
According to Dr Hoffman, parents shouldn’t rush into switching from a rear-facing position unless there is enough space within the guidelines mentioned above. Every development phase is unique; hence different toddlers may reach suitable age/weight milestones earlier than others. Stick with what works well for YOUR CHILD – don’t feel pressured into transitioning before they are ready.
Now that you understand why maintaining a proper position for your child inside his/her car seat is essential let us look closer at some circumstances or scenarios where ‘forwarding’ might either work best or prove necessary.
Age and Weight Limits for Rear-Facing Car Seats
Rear-facing car seats are designed to protect infants, toddlers and young children from serious injury in the event of a collision. As such, it is important that parents understand when their child should face forward in a car seat.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents keep their children rear-facing until at least 2 years of age or until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. This ensures that the child’s head, neck and spine are well-protected during an accident.
Once a child surpasses the weight or height limit listed on their car seat’s manual for rear-facing position, then only can they switch to forward-facing riding mode. It is always best practice to double-check both your state laws and any information provided with your child’s specific car seat as some states have different requirements than AAP guidelines.
“It is crucial that you do not rush transitioning your child prematurely into a forward facing-car seat. ”
In summary, caregivers must generally wait till minimum requirements according to law have been met before considering transitioning rearward to forward orientation: The baby is at least 1 year old, weighs more than another prescribed amount specified by the seating capacity label and harness strap system unless specified otherwise by separate instructions gathered through researches supported by relevant authorities. Of course it’s still good advice regardless of country standards if one chooses to stick with AAP’s recommended cautionary limits mentioned above in order to cover almost every aspect concerning safety precautions while travelling on roads!
Understand the Importance of Rear-Facing Car Seats for Infants and Toddlers
When it comes to car safety, installing a rear-facing car seat for your infant or toddler is essential. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the age of two or until they have reached the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
Rear-facing car seats offer better protection against injuries during a collision compared to forward-facing seats. This is because when children face backwards, the force of an impact is distributed evenly throughout their bodies, reducing stress on their necks and spinal cords which are still developing at this stage.
“Using a well-installed child safety seat that meets current standards for your child’s size and correctly restraining them based on those instructions – especially as long as possible in each stage – minimizes injury risk significantly, ” says Dr. Ben Hoffman from AAP.
To ensure proper installation, always read through the manufacturer’s instruction manual carefully before installing the car seat. Parents and caregivers should have a professional inspect the installation of their child’s car seat if they’re unsure about how to install it properly.
In conclusion, parents must understand that using a rear-facing car seat offers optimal support and protection needed for babies’ growing bodies while traveling in cars with adults’ higher speeds than walking limits. Children tend to transition out of compact convertible detachable carriers into newer models according to demand needs when learning roadways’ basics towards becoming young men/women driving training programs encounter safe drivers sooner adhering safer roads ahead gradually gaining more confidence over time rather than being pushed too fast into unsafe situations earlier encountering future accidents called preventable collisions leading someone loses life unnecessarily tragically regrets violating laws somewhere someday!
Review the Age and Weight Limits for Rear-Facing Car Seats
Car accidents can be a traumatic experience, especially if you have young children in your vehicle. As a parent, it’s essential to keep them safe from harm by following proper car seat usage guidelines.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children stay rear-facing as long as possible until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer. Typically this is around two years old, but some seats may allow rear-facing until four years old.
When your child outgrows the rear-facing limits, you can transition them to a forward-facing car seat with harnesses or convertible options. However, before transitioning, make sure your chosen car seat accommodates your child’s age and size requirements.
“It’s always important to choose the right car seat for your kids’ safety, ” emphasizes Dr. Gary Smith, director of injury prevention at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Research shows that correctly installing an age-appropriate car seat reduces fatalities among infants and toddlers involved in crashes by nearly 60%. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, more than half of all automobile fatalities involving children are due to improper use or installation of the car seats.
In conclusion; while every situation differs based on several factors like parents’ budgets and sizes, it’s critical to adhere to strict rules regarding when it’s appropriate to switch between different types of seats and which direction your baby should face. Reading manuals provided by manufacturers carefully will help ensure the maximum potential protection for your little ones!
When to Transition to Forward-Facing Car Seats
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and toddlers ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least two years old or have reached the highest weight or height allowed by their particular car seat. However, once your child has outgrown his or her rear-facing infant car seat, it’s time to transition to a forward-facing one.
Most children will reach this milestone around age two, but some may be ready as early as 18 months and others not until closer to three. The key is making sure your child meets the height and weight requirements for your particular car seat model.
To make the switch, simply remove the lower anchors from your vehicle’s LATCH system if you used them with your infant car seat, then install the new front-facing car seat according to manufacturer instructions. Be sure to properly adjust the harness straps so they fit snugly against your child’s body but aren’t too tight that they cause discomfort.
“It’s important not to rush into moving your child into a front-facing car seat, ” warns Dr. Carlos Lerner of Seattle Children’s Hospital. “While it can be tempting to see your growing toddler squished up against the backseat, know that keeping them in a rear-facing position provides more protection. ”
Remember, transitioning from a rear- to forward-facing car seat is just one step in ensuring your child stays safe on every commute. Always place him or her in the backseat (if possible) and double-check that both the harness straps and chest clip are secure before hitting the road.
Know the Minimum Age and Weight Requirements for Forward-Facing Car Seats
One of the most important decisions parents or guardians make is determining when to turn a child’s car seat around. Parents should keep in mind that it is crucial not to rush into this transition.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends children remain rear-facing until at least two years old or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. Once they exceed those limits, children can finally face forward with an appropriate restraint system, but are still encouraged to ride as long as possible in a backward position.
A minimum age requirement has yet to be put forth by the AAP since each child grows differently. According to Michigan Medicine C. S Mott Children’s Hospital guidelines, “In general, toddlers need to ride in a rear-facing car safety seat until they are at least 2 years of age. ”
“It’s best to keep your baby riding rear-facing as long as possible, ” said Dennis Durbin, MD, FAAP. “This is still the safest way for children under 2 years old because their necks are weak and vulnerable. “
In conclusion, parents must know both weight and age limit requirements before turning toward front facing seats. They must also remember that it is undoubtedly better safe than regretful later on down the line.
Understand the Benefits of Keeping Your Child in a Rear-Facing Car Seat for As Long As Possible
As a parent, one of the most crucial steps you take towards protecting your child is to ensure they ride in a car seat appropriate for their age and size. One question that often arises is when should your child face forward in the car seat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their children rear-facing as long as possible until they meet their height or weight limit. The guidelines suggest you switch to forward-facing only after your baby has outgrown their infant carrier’s maximum height and/or weight limit. These recommendations are made based on numerous studies that show these types of seats offer better protection against injuries than front-facing ones.
Rear-facing car seats support the head, neck, spinal column, and pelvis – vital parts of a young child’s anatomy – from experiencing any harm during an accident. They work by distributing crash forces evenly across the body, minimizing the risk of severe injury to vulnerable areas. On average, kids riding rear facing are five times safer compared to those who sit forward-facing in case of an accident.
“Parents need to know that switching too soon increases the chances of getting injured. ” ~Dr Ben Hoffman, Director, Tom Sargent Children’s Safety Center
If in doubt about making this critical decision for keeping your little one safe while driving around town or travelling long distances with family members or friends; remember not to rush! There are never any guarantees regarding safety measures when it comes down to accidents happening on roads worldwide every day! But with adequate care given through following doctor recommended advice like using rear-facing seats where feasible- we can minimize unnecessary risks significantly!
Proper Installation and Placement of Car Seats
The proper installation and placement of car seats are crucial in keeping your child safe during travel. It is important to know the appropriate age, weight, and size requirements when selecting a car seat for a child.
Infants should always ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach one year old AND weigh at least 20 pounds. Toddlers should remain in their rear-facing seat as long as possible, up to the height or weight limit specified by the manufacturer. At that point, parents can move your child into a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
In general, children between 4-7 years old are ready to use booster seats once they have outgrown their front-facing car seat but before using only an adult safety belt. The booster cushion will raise them so that the lap/shoulder belts fit properly over the stronger parts of their body (hips/thighs) instead of damagingly across the abdomen and throat.
“It’s essential to note that even if it appears secure—the latch system has been used—car seats still require regular inspections”
Once children have reached around eight-years-old then be sure to choose an appropriate type of backless or high-back booster seat particularly focused on ensuring correct position of belt across shoulder which must not be crossed over neck while strapped in.
Last but definitely not least, ensure all straps lie flat against baby’s chest/stomach without any folds/twists present in securing both first clip buckle resting level onto pubic bone without being too high over stomach nor low below hips. “
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions for Proper Car Seat Installation
If your child is under two years old and still fits in a rear-facing car seat, experts recommend keeping them in that position as long as possible. Rear-facing seats provide better protection for a young child’s head, neck, and spine during an accident.
Once your child has outgrown their infant car seat and reaches the weight limit or height limit specified by the manufacturer, it’s time to switch to a convertible car seat with higher limits sitting in the rear-facing position. Make sure you follow the proper installation instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure maximum safety benefits of using appropriate restraint systems installed correctly.
When you’re ready to transition your toddler into a front-facing car seat depends on his or her maturity level and size. Unfortunately, every kid grows differently so there isn’t one magic age when kids should face forward in their car seats – rather each family must consider many factors unique and specific to their children.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants ride facing backward starting from birth until they are at least 2 years of age or exceed the highest weight allowed by our vehicle’s safety belts or LATCH system before turning them around,
You may want to consult with your pediatrician who knows he best about what type of booster model would be ideal based on different evaluations including those such as height and weight requirements listed recommendations etc…
In conclusion, always choose a suitable rear-facing car seat until your little one becomes too big then proceed according to manufacturer specifications regarding converting from weighing guidelines stated above while frequently checking manual booklets regularly combined personalized growth chart consultations conducted together professionals will go smooth sailing guideposts parents concerns safely driving toward achieving ultimate goal efficiently creating life-long safest habits which leads towards happy healthiness whole entire family atmosphere.
Ensure That Your Car Seat is Properly Placed in Your Vehicle
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to your child’s safety in a car seat is making sure that it is properly installed and placed within your vehicle.
This means following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, which will likely involve using either the LATCH system or seat belts to secure the seat firmly in place. Make sure to double check that there is no movement whatsoever once you have tightened everything up.
You should also take care to position the car seat correctly in relation to your child, ensuring that it reclines at an appropriate angle for their age and size. This will help to prevent any potential breathing difficulties and will keep them comfortable throughout longer journeys.
It’s worth noting that even if you think the car seat seems stable enough on its own, it’s always best practice to additionally attach tethers or anchors where possible to ensure maximum stability while driving.
If you’re feeling uncertain about whether you’ve installed the car seat correctly, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a certified technician who can provide additional guidance and assistance as needed.
In terms of when your child should face forward in their car seat, this ultimately depends on their weight and height as well as guidelines set out by different manufacturers – generally speaking though children should remain rear-facing until they are two years old or have reached minimum size requirements before facing forwards
Know the Importance of Regularly Checking Your Car Seat for Proper Installation
When should your child face forward in a car seat? It’s important to follow manufacturer guidelines, but typically children should remain rear-facing until they are at least 2 years old or meet height and weight requirements set by their car seat manufacturer. After that point, it is generally safe to turn them around to face forward in a car seat.
However, just switching from rear-facing to forward-facing isn’t enough. Regularly checking your child’s car seat for proper installation is crucial. A poorly installed car seat can increase the risk of injury or death during an accident.
You may be wondering: How do I know if my child’s car seat is properly installed? There are several resources available to help you ensure the safety of your little one:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers free inspections by certified technicians who can teach you how to correctly install your child’s car seat and ensure it meets safety standards.
In addition, most communities have Safe Kids coalitions which provide similar services as well as frequently hosting “car-seat check” events where trained professionals inspect your installation personally!
In conclusion, while transitioning from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing one can happen anytime once your child has met certain milestones, regular checks on its’ installation helps reduce accidents and save lives. Make sure you take advantage of all available resources so that you’re confident your family is safely travelling together on every road trip.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Installing Car Seats
Installing a car seat can be challenging and it’s important to do so correctly in order to ensure your child’s safety. Here are some common mistakes that you should avoid when installing car seats:
1. Not reading the manual thoroughly: Different car seats have different installation requirements, so it’s important to read the instruction manual carefully before installation.
2. Wrong harness slots: The improper placement of straps or placing them through wrong slots is one of the most common mistakes made by parents during installation.
3. Loose Installation: If the seat doesn’t fit tight enough against the vehicle seat, then it may wobble or tip over, compromising your child’s safety. It is always recommended to install the car seat tightly.
4. Moving toddlers forward-facing too early: Many parents advance their children from rear-facing to front-facing mode as soon as they reach minimum weight limit for front-facing instead of waiting until maximum height and weight limits for rear-facing has been reached.
“When Should Your Child Face Forward In Car Seat?”
In general, children should remain rear-facing until at least two years old or until they outgrow the upper weight and/or height limits outlined by the manufacturer. Once a child has met these guidelines, he/she can move into a forward-facing position tethered with top anchors provided. If there are no tethers available in your existing older cars, you should consider purchasing an updated model with tether anchors rather than ending up replacing vehicles or making modifications. The benefit gained from keeping kids safe while travelling carry more value towards society in long run as compared to cost incurred for new purchase/upgrade of automobile.
Avoid Common Installation Mistakes That Can Compromise Your Child’s Safety
When should your child face forward in car seat? This is a common question among parents, but it’s important to note that there are different guidelines depending on the age and weight of your child. However, one thing that is consistent across all recommendations is the importance of proper installation.
Mistakes during installation can compromise the safety of your child in case of an accident. Below are some of the most common mistakes that parents make:
“One common mistake is using both the lower anchors AND seat belt to install a car seat. “
This puts too much force on the car seat and could lead to its failure in case of an accident. Always use either the lower anchors or the seat belt for installation – not both.
Another mistake some people make when installing a car seat is failing to tighten it enough so that it wobbles around while driving—always ensure you follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding tightening requirements. . Check also if your car has center latch system as this provides added security because these typically offer Lower Anchor Tether (LAT) systems designed to minimize any movement from multiple directions by holding down the base plate securely onto position at 4 anchor points.
In addition, never fixate too much on getting rid of wrinkles in fabric wrappings surrounding restraints; instead, focus more on ensuring harness snugness while properly clipped over five points: both shoulders/hips plus between legs until they fit smoothly without allowing any slippage or twists.
Finally yet equally crucial always keep updated with information concerning weight limits recommended for each unit under consideration after making purchase choice particularly dependent upon child growth rate.Remembering these simple tips will help reduce mistakes leading to inappropriate placement changing traveling ease reaching destination because of risk from unexpected mishaps, and ensure your child is always safe while on the road.
Double-Check the Tightness of the Car Seat’s Harness and Straps
When should your child face forward in a car seat? Well, that depends on various factors such as age, height, weight and the type of car seat being used.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants remain in rear-facing car seats as long as possible until they reach the maximum limit of their rear-facing car seats or at least until two years of age. This is because rear-facing protects children’s fragile head, neck and spine better during an accident.
Once a child exceeds these limits and turns around to face frontward in a car seat, it is important to ensure that both the harness and straps are securely tight so as to provide necessary protection against accidents.
“A properly secured harness shouldn’t allow any slack, ” says Dr Benjamin Hoffman – A member of AAP Council. “Parents should pull up on the shoulder part after buckling them into their kid’s safety seat which should not come off while doing so. “
Your child needs adequate support for his body throughout every ride. Adjusting the straps too loosely or tightening them excessively may compromise security thus putting your little one in danger in case there’s an impact.
Henceforth, parents have to ensure that all conditions favorable protect their child from injuries caused by collisions when riding along with others on roads whether traveling near-far within cities/interstates/cities. Always follow state laws about using booster seats & accommodations due to changing guidelines from research groups such as The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Tips for Safe Car Travel with Children
There are a lot of things to consider when traveling by car with young children. It’s important to make sure that your child is comfortable and safe during the trip. Here are a few tips:
Use properly installed car seats. Make sure you’re using the right type of car seat based on your child’s age, height, and weight. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping children in rear-facing seats as long as possible – up until around age 4 or until they have outgrown their rear-facing seat.
Dress appropriately. Dress your child in lightweight clothing so that they don’t get too hot in the car, but avoid bulky coats which can make it difficult to properly secure them in their car seat. Instead, tuck blankets around the harness straps once your child is safely buckled in.
Note: According to latest official guidelines “All infants should ride rear-facing starting from birth and be kept rear-facing until they reach at least 40 pounds (18 kg) and two years of age. ”
Pack food and snacks. Bring plenty of food and drinks for your child, especially if you’ll be driving during meal times. Having some snacks available can also help keep them occupied during the journey.
Frequent stops. Plan regular breaks throughout the journey to give both you and your child a chance to stretch your legs, take bathroom breaks, etc. This will prevent everyone from getting too antsy during extended periods spent sitting still inside the vehicle.By following these simple tips, you can increase safety while travelling with children over time making every road trip worry-free!
Use a Car Seat Every Time You Travel with Your Child
Car seats are an essential safety feature for children when traveling in a vehicle. They reduce the risk of injury or death in case of an accident.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommend using rear-facing car seats for infants until they are at least 2 years old, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
After that, toddlers should be placed in forward-facing car seats equipped with five-point harnesses until they outgrow them. The NHTSA recommends keeping them in these seats until they weigh at least 40 pounds.
If your child is not yet ready to move to a booster seat, keep him/her harnessed as long as possible. Children who sit facing forward too early may suffer severe injuries if involved in motor vehicle crashes.
Once your child outgrows his/her forward-facing car seat, it’s time to switch to a booster seat, which helps raise your child into a position where adult-sized seat belts will fit properly across his/her body. Booster seats must be used until lap/shoulder belts fit properly on every trip – this usually happens between ages 8-12.
In summary, parents need to understand when their child is ready to face forward and take appropriate steps to safeguard their well-being whilst travelling. It’s all about prioritizing safety regardless of any perceived inconvenience!
Avoid Placing Loose Objects in Your Car That Can Become Dangerous in a Crash
When it comes to driving safely, many people focus on wearing seat belts and obeying traffic laws. However, an often-overlooked aspect of car safety is avoiding putting loose objects in your car that could cause harm during an accident.
Loose objects such as toys, water bottles, or even groceries can become projectiles during a crash. These items can fly around the inside of your vehicle at high speeds, potentially causing serious injury to passengers.
If you need to transport items in your car, make sure they are secured properly. For example, use cargo nets or tie-downs to keep large items from moving around. Small items like phones or sunglasses should be stored in compartments or organizers where they can’t slide around while driving.
Remember that anything not securely fastened could become dangerous if involved in an accident – for example hardback books have been known to snap rear-view mirrors clean from windscreens!
The best way to avoid injuries caused by loose objects is to not bring them along when possible. Avoid transporting unnecessary items and remove any unsecured items before starting your journey.
In conclusion, by taking precautions and using common sense when transporting goods, drivers can significantly reduce the risk of accidents caused by flying debris. So next time you hit the road stay safe prevent loose object-related causes of car collisions!
Encourage Your Child to Wear a Seatbelt As Soon As They Are Able to Do So Safely
The question on when your child should face forward in the car seat is one that concerns every parent. However, it is essential to note that road accidents can happen at any time, and taking preventive measures will protect your little ones from severe injuries or even death.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children ride rear-facing until they outgrow their convertible car seats, which could be between 30-50 pounds depending on height and age. On average, this happens when a child is around four years old.
After outgrowing the convertible seat, parents can opt for a forward-facing harness strap approved by NHTSA’s inspection NCAP rating system with side impact protection features. This recommendation stands until the age of eight years and weighing 40-80lbs, whereby most states require children under this weight limit must sit in booster seats designed car-seats with an adjustable shoulder belt guide so that the lap belt is at proper hip-level position safe instead of riding in the front seat as airbags pose danger below specific ages and size limits.
“As soon as you switch them over to forward-facing mode prematurely — typically before 18 kilograms (about 40 pounds) or two-years-old — experts say they’re susceptible to catastrophic spinal-cord injury” – Dr. Lynne Warda
In conclusion, while transitioning from rear-facing seats to front facing-risers may seem less challenging than installing convertible seats correctly for parents who followed rules above are more likely protected their child against fatalities due safer restraints adapted better for different phases growth stages without risking potential lifelong disabilities like paralysis caused by fire-related crashes resulting from early transitions involving only body shops fixing obvious scratches indicate other damages done ignore injuries not visible instantly.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can my child face forward in a car seat?
It is recommended that children stay rear-facing for as long as possible, until they reach the maximum height and weight limits of their rear-facing car seat. However, when they outgrow their rear-facing car seat, they can be turned forward-facing. The minimum age for forward-facing is usually around 2 years old, but it is best to follow the specific guidelines of your car seat manufacturer.
What are the weight and height requirements for forward-facing car seats?
Weight and height requirements for forward-facing car seats vary depending on the specific model and brand. Generally, children must be at least 2 years old, weigh between 20 and 65 pounds, and be between 27 and 49 inches tall to use a forward-facing car seat. It is important to read the manufacturer’s guidelines for your child’s specific car seat to ensure that they meet the weight and height requirements for forward-facing.
What are the benefits of keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible?
Keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible is safer because it provides better protection for their head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. Rear-facing car seats distribute the force of a crash across the child’s entire back, while forward-facing car seats concentrate the force on the child’s neck and head. This is especially important for infants and young children, who have fragile necks and developing spines.
What should parents consider when deciding when to turn their child’s car seat forward-facing?
Parents should consider their child’s age, weight, and height, as well as the specific guidelines of their car seat manufacturer. It is recommended that children stay rear-facing for as long as possible, but when they outgrow their rear-facing car seat, they can be turned forward-facing. Parents should also ensure that the car seat is installed correctly and that their child is securely fastened in the seat before turning it forward-facing.
What are the potential risks of turning a child’s car seat forward-facing too soon?
Turning a child’s car seat forward-facing too soon can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash. Forward-facing car seats concentrate the force of a crash on the child’s neck and head, which can cause serious injuries, especially in infants and young children who have fragile necks and developing spines. It is important to follow the specific weight and height requirements for forward-facing car seats and to keep children rear-facing for as long as possible.
What are some tips for ensuring your child’s safety in a forward-facing car seat?
To ensure your child’s safety in a forward-facing car seat, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation and use. Make sure the car seat is securely fastened and that your child is properly strapped in. Adjust the harness straps so they fit snugly around your child’s shoulders and chest, and ensure that the chest clip is positioned at armpit level. Also, avoid putting bulky clothing or blankets between your child and the harness straps, as this can reduce their effectiveness in a crash.