I have a confession to make: car seats make me nuts. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m happy that my days of wrestling a cranky, wiggly toddler into a 5-point harness are over.
Even though I found car seats irritating, annoying, and sometimes even physically painful (you’ll understand that statement if you’ve ever installed an infant seat in a small car), I never, ever, never fail to strap my kids in. These days the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers ease-of-use ratings for child seats, so now you can use these ratings to buy a seat that’s easy to install. If it’s easy to install, I think you’re much more likely to use safety seats correctly .
When I was 6 my mother took us to pick my grandparents up at the airport. We were zooming along down the highway and were hit by another car. Everyone in our car was wearing a seat belt and the worst injury we suffered was a scratch on my Nana’s nose and a very frightened 6-year-old girl. The woman who hit us had several children in her back seat and they weren’t wearing seat belts. All of those children had to go to the hospital to be treated for bumps, bruises and broken bones. Thank goodness it wasn’t worse.
This week is child passenger safety week, and anyone who drives small children around can stop into a child safety seat inspection station and have a certified technician inspect and verify that your seat is installed correctly and that you’re using it correctly. It’s free, and you can find an inspection station near you .