Sunday, January 22, 2012

Car Seat Safety Class for Baby - Month 7

Parenting Class One out of Four Complete!

week 28

Car Seat Safety at St. Francis Hospital in Shakopee
I would've never imagined myself taking a class like this. But, the statistics are alarming. Over 83 percent of parents install the car seat wrong (which would totally be me) and car accidents are the leading cause of children's death.
Practicing on a little doll

Those numbers had my attention, even though most people giggled when we told them we were going. "You are definitely first time parents." I know, but this stuff is interesting to me!

The class was offered through the hospital we'll be delivering at and I think was around $30 for the both of us. We later found out most everyone else in our class were able to get FREE car seats because they were on Minnesota Medical Assistance and only needed to complete the class and fill out a form. Jeesh! Kind of nice if you ask me.

It was up to us if we wanted to bring in our car seat and car manual. We did. Super happy we were gifted the Chicco KeyFit 30 from our first shower (thanks Mattie Sue...and mom!!!). It's totally awesome. I did some major research on car seats and am totally satisfied with the KeyFit so far. Way easy to install!

The 2-hour class (which really only lasted an hour and 20 minutes) was taught by a nurse and mother of two (who is also married to a volunteer firefighter who has seen way too many horrible accidents due to incorrect car seat installation so she's mega passionate about this stuff). Though we didn't get to install the car seat into our own car, we had to practice getting a doll in the seat correctly (too many times the straps aren't tight enough) and then tied and locked both the car seat base into an actual seat of a car and then again without the base (for the purpose of grandpa and grandma watching baby for a weekend and not having a base installed in their car).

We watched a 20 minute video on the different types of car seats and stages. Very scary to see a bunch of infants and small children dummies in crash tests and how horrible these accidents can be even if the car is going 30 miles per hour...all because the car seat wasn't installed properly or there are toys hanging from the handlebar or the bar is over the child's face and not tucked behind the car seat.

We left turning our recall card in that came with our car seat (just in case Chicco has any recalls and now they have us on file) and received a packet of information. Really happy we took this class.

Most surprised about:
  • You can get free car seats through some insurance providers.
  • Car seat must be rear facing up to two years of age.
  • Absolutely NO toys on or in the car seat...or no loose objects in the car - they will go flying!
  • Kids can't sit up front until they are 13.
  • Kids have to be in booster seats until age 12.
  • Once the car seat is past 6 years old, break it and then dump/recycle it.
  • NEVER EVER buy a used car seat. You never know where it's been or what kind of accident it's been in. Even minor.
  • Insurance companies will reimburse you if you do get in a very minor car accident for a NEW car seat. Otherwise, if you get in another accident with the same car seat, NOT GOOD. Nobody will be willing to take blame. Just you.
Anyone else have good suggestions for awesome car seats after baby grows out of the infant one? they seem quite expensive!!

Up next: My crazy and scary thoughts on being pregnant. My favorite pregnancy books so far. Gestational Diabetes testing (going in on Friday). And breastfeeding class.


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