|Photo copyright: Dmyto Samsonov, stock.xchng|
I'm a parent and I vividly remember the time I brought my first child home from the hospital. I think I read through the installation manual for the car seat a few dozen times and checked that the base was cinched down as tight as possible. I was incredibly worried that something would happen to my baby, and my worry was completely justified.
When my first child was only a few months old she was involved in a car wreck. Some idiot who didn't look before turning left out of a business' parking lot T-boned our car while my wife was driving. Thankfully baby and mother were not hurt, partially because I had been so obsessive about getting that car seat in correctly.
There are several considerations when it comes to installing a car seat the right way. One big one when it comes to the baby carrier style seats is that you must fold down the seat's handle once you secure the seat in the base. I have noticed for the past several years that a shocking number of parents around here leave the handle up!
If you leave the baby carrier's handle folded upward, the seat can come loose from the base, causing your baby and the seat to potentially go flying out of the car during a violent car accident!
I have heard people say they keep the handle in the upright position because they attach toys to the handle so the baby has something to play with while riding in the car. You might as well be giving a toy full of rat poison for you child to be playing with, because it's about as dangerous.
Please, if you don't have a baby or are done having kids, spread the word around to people you do know that parents must fold these handles down. I hear of car accidents where baby carriers have gone flying out of windows and into traffic on a pretty frequent basis. It's such a simple thing and yet it can save lives.
Fold those handles down!