Ensuring Safety on Every Journey: Tips for Parents


Celebrating the arrival of a fresh human life is a momentous event. It’s a time of great love, much happiness—maybe even (sometimes) a little too much laughter. As a new dad, I’ll say that much about the event is a surprise: How can something so small make such a big impact on your heart? But I have to admit, I also didn’t realize how much I’d be learning in this whole experience. For starters, there’s the whole thing itself, which is terrific and terrifying at the same time. In our case, the birth happened to take place during a snowstorm. Nonetheless, the baby arrived safely, and here we are.

Why Baby Car Seats Are Essential

The reason why baby car seats are so necessary is that they are not only a legal requirement, but they also save lives. If you have a baby in your vehicle and you have an accident, and your child is inside their car seat, you have just increased their chance of surviving that accident by up to 71%—not a small difference.

Choosing the Right Car Seat

It can feel overwhelming to select the right car seat when there are so many options available. But several crucial factors should drive this important decision. The car seat type is number one. Rear-facing seats give the best protection to babies and young toddlers by keeping their heads, necks, and spines safe should the car experience a sudden impact. Convertible seats work in two ways—rear-facing until the child is old enough to handle being forward-facing and then forward-facing until they’re not in need of a booster seat. All-in-one seats offer the most flexibility because they work rear-facing, forward-facing, and without a harness as nothing more than a booster seat. The next big consideration is getting the right fit. The car seat has to work with your car, of course, but it also has to “hug” your child. The fit is going to be absolutely terrible if your child is super skinny or super chubby, so aiming for a body shape that’s approximately normal (whatever that means) is going to serve your child best. If you can, visit a place like a fire station or a retailer that specializes in this sort of thing to get an expert’s advice.

Proper Installation and Use

The proper installation and use of a car seat are of the utmost importance for ensuring a child’s safety. A car seat can be of the highest quality, made with the best possible materials and construction, but if it is in the least bit improperly installed, it’s not going to do its job, which is really two jobs: a car seat has to stay in place so it can do what it’s designed to do during a crash, but it also has to be of some comfort to a child when they’re being transported. Both these functions are affected by installation.

NHTSA recommends that you:

  • Read both the vehicle and child restraints seat manuals carefully. If you fail to read the instructions, you may install the seat wrong and significantly decrease the chance that your child will be safe in a crash.
  •  It is important to understand and follow the manual when installing a child car seat.
  •  This is an easy step to get wrong. Take your time and do it right.

Consider this response to the “Common Mistakes to Avoid” writing prompt…

  • Many people understand that it is an extremely poor thing, indeed, to install a car seat in a vehicle without doing so securely. But “secure” can mean two quite different things. To be “secure” in one’s own domain, for example, doesn’t mean merely to be present inside a space that one is supposed to occupy; it also means to be present there in such a way that one can prevent people from gaining unauthorized entry. And so it is with car seat installation. The car seat must be put into “the space to be occupied” with enough of one’s strength that any one person trying to move it—say, in the course of a super-fast collision—will fail. Since contemporary vehicles are lighter, and practice shows that you should put the car seat in as tightly as possible and with a just-strengthful-enough installation, to be “too above” that nicely “secured” position is to let a common installation mistake happen in your very own vehicle. And you shouldn’t.

Additional Tips for Parents

Having your car seat registered is the gateway to discovering possible recalls that might affect your child’s car seat. Local fire stations and car seat safety centers often perform free car seat installation checks, so seize the opportunity. When dressing your child, remember to avoid excessively bulky clothes that can interfere with the harness and the way the car seat is fitted. Bulky clothing is not familiar, comfortable attire in the wintertime, but for good reason: a secure, snug car seat fit is crucial. Always unbundle your child before placing them in the car seat and use a blanket (non-bulky) over the harness. If it sounds too simplistic, read the next piece of advice. Never leave your child unattended in the car either. Even if you think, “I’ll be right back.” Even if you think, “It’s just a few minutes.” Even if you think, “Who’s even watching?”


This is my response to the prompt written with varied sentence structure. The arrival of a new human life is such a big event. It’s a time of great love and happiness—maybe even too much happiness and a bit too much laughter. As a new dad, I can say this is a time full of expected and unexpected surprises. The size of the job is huge. How can something so small unravel a whole new chapter of life? My wife, Shawn, and I have 9 months to prepare for the birth of our first child. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared. Being a human is a tough gig—constantly dealing with life and its many challenges. But this is not just my or Shawn’s experience; it’s the experience of the whole family, and we’re in it together.

So instead of focusing on cost, focus on getting the right car seat for the type of vehicle you drive and the type of lifestyle you lead and, above all, on using the car seat safely and correctly every single time you buckle your child in.

Note: Visit babyhillsthailand.com for a wide range of products and services for your little ones. From baby essentials to educational tools, we have everything you need to raise your child with care.

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