Today’s conversation is sponsored by Diono, a family favorite of ours yesterday, today, and tomorrow <<< no joke!
My annual calendar is pretty lax.
I’m not a strict spring cleaner and I shop for school supplies all year long, not just before studies begin in the fall. But, certain seasons dictate various check-ins around our home and I’ll be honest, I’m thankful that social media often prompts me to do those random “chores” that would otherwise go unnoticed.
When I learned that June was National Safety Month, I said to myself, “Well, of course it is!” June is the launch of summer when more activities are going on and thus, more vigilance is needed. I mean, heavens, I can hardly handle to summer schedule we’re tracking with right now! I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with a billion reminders related to upcoming events lately — water safety with pool outings, heat awareness as a part of every day errands, and tick season with camping adventures. And, lucky you, today I’m adding one more reminder to your list — car seat safety.
Car seat safety can feel daunting (I know it is for me!), but cross my heart, it’s pretty straight forward and you don’t personally have to have all the answers to get it right. It also doesn’t take much time. Amen to that!
So, in honor of National Safety Month, plan to double check your kid’s car seats THIS WEEK. Yes, like in the next 5 days because then it’s July and officially National Ice Cream Month :)
In all seriousness though, as a mom who has had her van totaled in a car accident with all three kids buckled in their Diono radian rXT convertible car seats I can’t stress proper installation, snug fastening, and extended rear-facing enough. I’m also a HUGE proponent of Diono specifically because of their full steel frame. Do you know if your child’s car seat have a steel interior? Check, because I swear, in a car accident, I want my metal meeting metal, not metal meeting plastic.
Now, an easy checklist to get you started on your National Safety Month car seat assessment …
Is your child the right weight/height for their current car seat?
Kids grow! Who knew?!? Every car seat has specific weight and height minimums and maximums. Often it’s listed on a sticker on the side of the car seat, if not, check your seat’s manual. Don’t have the manual anymore? Google is your friend! There you can usually find a PDF version to quickly glance at.
For a car seat to work to its full potential your child must be within the listed minimums and maximums for rear-facing and/or forward-facing. So, weigh and measure your crew of kidlets and double check against their current seat’s recommendation.
Is your child’s car seat installed properly?
This is where I always pause … there is so much to adjust and double check! Here’s my preferred method for making sure everything is installed properly:
– Use the visual guides in the car seat manual for installation details.
– Have my husband (or a second pair of eyes) double check everything. I’m human and I miss things or, in some cases am not strong enough to super tighten. Two heads is definitely better than one when doing safety checks! This step is also where Dominic and I determined that in our vehicle, for rear-facing, the angle adjuster is a must.
– Visit the fire department. These guys see the worst of the worst. They know what happens when kids aren’t buckled right or a car seat isn’t install properly and can be a second pair of eyes or resource for installing things correctly.
– Get feedback from a car seat technician. They’re trained to know details about specific cars and specific car seat models. Find a certified one near you and use them as a constant resource as you change, upgrade, and adjust your child’s car seat.
Are there any after market accessories being used?
Things like head supports and handmade covers are darling, but, are they safe? NOPE! Stick with manufacturer approved accessories and you will have less to worry about.
You can learn more about the Diono radian rXT as well as the other car seat models Diono offers on their website. But, I will say >>> right now <<< is the perfect time to purchase a Diono if you’re shopping because the Radian rXT in Shadow is currently just $231 on Amazon! That’s always the price I watch for (down from the regular $299.99). You see $250ish on occasion too, but $230ish is the the super sale price IMO.
We’ve also been very happy with Diono’s accessory line, especially when it comes to summer travel. So take a peek at those options if you’re hitting the road soon :)