To prevent injuries suffered by babies, car seats should only be used in the car. Such was the conclusion of a new study, which found that nearly 9,000 infants are brought to the emergency room every year in the U.S. for injuries related to car seats but occurring outside the vehicle.
For starters, when it comes to car seats, parents should make sure that their babies are properly strapped in at all times. Most injuries seem to occur when infants fall out of the seat or when the seat falls off a table, counter or shopping cart. About half of the injuries happen at home. Head and neck injuries are the most common, especially in young babies.
One of the reasons these injuries are so common is that parents assume that babies won’t move around enough to fall because they haven’t developed good coordination yet. The result? Many leave the baby in a car seat without strapping the child in. Some parents also place the seat somewhere that puts the infant at eye level. If the baby wiggles around too much, it may fall from a considerable height.
Falls are the most common cause of injury in babies. While it may be easier when you come back from your errands to simply place your child on the counter, car seat and all, it would be much safer to take a minute to go set your little one in the crib or play pen. Car seats are only designed to protect babies during a car accident and should only be used for that purpose.