Placing the infant carrier on top of shopping carts
Parents of infants often struggle to find ways to run errands with their baby. Should they bring a stroller or wear the baby in a carrier? It turns out either of these options is much safer than what many moms mistakenly do: balancing the infant carrier on top of a shopping cart. In 2011, a three-month-old boy died from injuries he suffered in a fall after his mother placed his carrier on top of a cart. Shopping carts are not constructed to restrain an infant carrier, and mothers mistakenly assume that because a carrier fits over the front part of the cart, it is a safe option. Mothers should wear their child in a carrier, or bring along a stroller, but they should never balance the infant seat on a cart. If you must use the cart as a place for your infant carrier, place the baby inside the cart where items are held, as it is the only safe option.
Turning the car seat forward too soon
Car seat safety is a hot topic among parents, with each parent feeling as though they know best. The truth of the matter is that according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 59 percent of car seats are not used correctly, placing children at an increased risk for injury and death. David L. Hill, MD, pediatrician and Chicco safety spokesman is part of the company’s TurnAfter2 initiative to educate parents about the importance of keeping a child’s car seat rear-facing until the child turns two. Dr. Hill explains, “Children riding rear-facing are five times safer in the event of a crash, and that statistic alone should be enough to convince all parents to keep them rear-facing in the car as long as possible. By turning a child forward-facing too soon, you’re drastically increasing the risk for serious head and spinal injuries.” Many parents become concerned about their child’s legs appearing to be cramped while rear-facing, though Dr. Hoffman says, “First, your child’s legs looking cramped is not a reason to sacrifice safety, and toddlers are actually much more flexible than adults, so this position isn’t bothersome. More importantly, children should ride rear-facing until at least two-years old, until they reach the maximum length or weight requirements of the car seat.”