Ok, so its not dirty and its not a secret. But it does have adverse reactions from A LOT of people. It is something I feel very strongly about.
duh. duh. duh.
Car Seat Safety.
And since it is National Child Passenger Safety Week, I decided I should just man up and finish this post... that has been in my drafts for a month (or more).
I know. I'm not a mom. It's weird that I care, but I DO. Oh so much. I have a car seat I keep in my car full time in case I have to take kids anywhere. It is installed rear facing. All of the kids I watch are over 1, most over 2. See a trend? Extended rear facing. It's the way to go. The law says 1 year and 30 pounds. But that is not anywhere close to best practice. Your child is 500% safer rear facing until 2 years old. I rear face to the limits of a seat, because no matter what, they are always safer rear facing. The newest recommendation (that car seat people have known for a long time) is to rear face until 2 OR your child outgrows their convertible seat. Two years old is the new minimum.
(in case this isn't obvious, my seat does get turned if the child exceeds the RF limits of my TrueFit)
Car seat safety is a personal decision. But your children will be safer the longer they rear face. Period. I got some flack (actually, I didn't, someone just tweeted a link to my blog, but didn't have the guts to tag me in it) for RFing a three year old... who was SOUND ASLEEP, but looked uncomfortable. First of all, not uncomfortable at all. Second of all, I'll take uncomfortable legs over a broken neck any day.
Chest clip usage is an issue I see pretty often. It's a chest clip. I feel like that is self explanatory. But apparently some people (and advertisers - looking at you TARGET) seem to think it is a belly clip. It's not. It can cause internal damage in a crash. It needs to be over the chest. About nipple/arm pit line. Another issue I see frequently is loose harness straps. That car seat isn't going to do what it is supposed to do if the harness isn't tight. The child could go flying out of it.
One other thing I want to mention is expiration dates. Car seats do expire and you should not use a car seat after its expiration date. Check your seat for the date of manufacture and check your manual for the expiration time. It's usually around 6-8 years.
I read and talk about car seats all day. I am waiting on the CPST course to start. I care. I have experience. I know what I'm talking about. If I don't know an answer, I have some of the best CPSTs in the country that I can ask anything to and get that answer. Please get your car seats check by a CPST. They know what they are doing and will make your children as safe as possible.
Here are a few links that I would love for you to check out. Get informed. Know and do what is best for your child.