I will never forget the labour and birth of my firstborn. Cadence’s birth day feels like it was just yesterday. It seems unreal that it was actually over 5 years ago.
In the days leading up to her arrival, our family was buzzing with anticipation, joy and excitement. My husband and I were on cloud nine, albeit slightly overwhelmed. Our life as we knew it was going to change at a moments notice.
My labour with Cadence progressed rapidly. She was born approximately 5 hours after we arrived at the hospital. 3 hours after her birth we were released from hospital care.
I’ll never forget how intimidated I was by the idea of having to travel with a baby in the car. It was unnerving.
Was our Evenflo car seat installed properly?
Was Cadence properly secured in her car seat?
I had horrible visions of being involved in a car accident dancing in my head. Cadence may have only been a few hours old, but I was already in full on mama bear mode wanting to protect her and keep her out of harms way.
While preventing car accidents was virtually out of my hands, there were a few important factors that I could take into consideration when securing Cadence into her Evenflo infant car seat with a 5-point harness to ensure that Cadence would be safe in the event of a car accident.
Proper tightness – Many parents are concerned that if they adjust the harness too tight, their child will be uncomfortable and potentially unsafe in an accident. However, a tightly secured harness is critical in order to properly spread the forces of an accident over a wider area of the body. There is a simple check that parents can do called the “pinch test” to make sure the harness is properly secured. Once the child is strapped in, simply squeeze the harness strap using your thumb and index finger. If the harness is properly secured, you should not be able to pinch any of the harness strap between your fingers. If you are able to pinch the strap, continue to tighten the harness until you are unable to do so.
Position of the harness chest clip – the second important factor to consider is the position of the harness chest clip. This should always be positioned at armpit level for the safest ride. If the chest clip is too high, there is risk of choking the child during impact of the accident. If the clip is too low, there is risk of causing harm to internal organs due to the excessive forces of the accident.
If you are an expectant parent, it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed about the impending homecoming of your little bundle of joy. When that exciting time in your lives arrives just keep the two important factors noted above in the back of your mind, arrive at the hospital with your trusty hospital bag and car seat in hand (yes – all hospitals across Canada require you to show them your car seat before they will release you from their care with your newborn), and you will be well on your way.
Always feel free to check out a car seat workshop, if you are unsure if your car seat is properly installed or if you have any questions that you would love to have answered firsthand by car seat experts.
Disclosure: I am an Evenflo Canada Brand Ambassador. I have received product and compensation as a part of my participation in this program. All opinions are those of my own.