Long gone are the days of kids racing out the door calling "shotgun." Sheesh, my kids would be clueless as to what that means, just like they have no idea what a record player is.
As parents, we all do some crazy things, and probably even some things we’re not proud of. But the other day shocked me. In the parking lot of Safeway, I saw a woman put an infant carrier seat in the front passenger seat of her car. She had three other young kids who piled into the back seat. I cringed, knowing that the front seat is the absolute worst place for an infant carrier to be placed. The force of the airbag if deployed is incredibly powerful and could be detrimental to a child sitting there.
As she drove away, I kept thinking about her. Clearly, I have no idea what situation this woman was in. But since I'm still thinking about her days later, I'm taking this opportunity to review the car seat recommendations and laws.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Maryland car seat laws recommends that children under the age of 13 are safest when seated in the back seat. And the front seat of my car, the passenger seat visor warns of air bag risks for infant seats and children.
Here is a summary of car seat recommendations:
First and foremost, infants belong in a rear facing car seat, properly installed in the back seat of the car, until they are two years of age. Then the toddler should move to a forward facing seat, until they reach the maximum height/weight limits. Children should be in this type of seat with a harness for as long as possible.
Until the child is at least 8 years old and is 4 feet 9 inches tall, they should use a belt positioning booster seat to ensure the seat belt sits at the proper location. Until children are 13 years old, they should always sit in the rear seat of the car, with a seat belt securely fastened.
There are even fines for drivers who don’t properly restrain children in their vehicles. So, while you may think you’re only running to the store or just riding to the bus stop, it’s against the law. It’s better practice to always have your child sit in their seat, properly restrained.
Are you ever shocked by things parents do? How strictly do you follow the AAP recommendations with your children? Tell us in the comments.