Bringing Up Baby

Car Seat Safety with Katherine Hutka

March 16, 2021 Ashley Season 1 Episode 3
Bringing Up Baby
Car Seat Safety with Katherine Hutka
Chapters
Bringing Up Baby
Car Seat Safety with Katherine Hutka
Mar 16, 2021 Season 1 Episode 3
Ashley

For more information, check out www.birthbabysleep.ca

Katherine is a Health Promotion Specialist for Child Safety Link – a children’s injury prevention centre at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

With unintentional injury as the leading cause of death in Canadian children, with injuries to children in motor vehicle collisions being at the top of this list...

Katherine’s work focuses on child passenger safety.  She is also the president of the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, a national not-for-profit that focuses on training and advocacy.

I’m fortunate to have had Katherine as my trainer when becoming a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (aka “car seat techs”) - we are volunteers that can help you safely install your child’s car seat. 

I’ve since had the pleasure of speaking with Katherine about car seat safety for children and we dove into a very important topic that comes up a lot with babies - namely how long is too long to be in a car seat and what should you do (and not do!) if your baby falls asleep in said car seat. Because we know that happens. Sometimes we go for a drive or a walk with a baby in the car seat for the sole purpose of getting them to sleep, so I totally get the struggle here… but there are some safety risks to be mindful of and we’re going to dive into that a little bit. 

...


Mental Health Minute

I DO NOT want you to feel like you can NEVER allow your baby to sleep in the car seat. 

Going down this rabbit hole will only make you feel less than a great parent, but you are a great parent! 

We’re all going to make decisions based on our own experiences, knowledge and cultural or environmental influences. 

As always, I want you to have all the facts so that you can make the best informed decisions you can when necessary.


So, what are the FACTS?

Well, The safest position for babies to sleep in is on their backs on a firm, flat surface. For babies under 1 year of age, you should always place your baby on his/her back for sleep.

Babies MUST be in a certified car seat that is approved by the country of origin and they must be in the car seat at all times when travelling in a motorized vehicle. 

So now, how do we make decisions based on this information? Here are just a few options to give you some examples:

If you are planning on going for a walk with baby with the hopes of he/she squeezing in a nap…

  • Can you use a carrier instead?
  • Or if you have the equipment, some stroller/seat combos have a bassinet that lays flat instead of the traditional car seat. So lying flat while out for a stroll might be an option for some people. 

If these are not options, or if you are driving while baby fall asleep in the car seat...

  • Limit travel time as much as possible, definitely not going over 2hrs 
  • Take breaks when necessary
  • Take baby out of the car seat once you’ve reached your destination and transfer them to a safer sleeping surface, like their crib
  • If for some reason baby had to stay in his/her car seat while sleeping (FOR A SHORT PERIOD), do not unclip them as their harness helps to keep them in a safer position.

And AS ALWAYS when it comes to babies in car seats - make sure they are installed correctly and baby is harnessed safely every time, for every ride.


Links:

For more information about safety regulations and information on anything related to babies and children, check out Child Safety Link’s website here.

And to find a Certified Car Seat Tech, visit the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada’s website here to find a tech in you area. 

Show Notes

For more information, check out www.birthbabysleep.ca

Katherine is a Health Promotion Specialist for Child Safety Link – a children’s injury prevention centre at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

With unintentional injury as the leading cause of death in Canadian children, with injuries to children in motor vehicle collisions being at the top of this list...

Katherine’s work focuses on child passenger safety.  She is also the president of the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada, a national not-for-profit that focuses on training and advocacy.

I’m fortunate to have had Katherine as my trainer when becoming a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (aka “car seat techs”) - we are volunteers that can help you safely install your child’s car seat. 

I’ve since had the pleasure of speaking with Katherine about car seat safety for children and we dove into a very important topic that comes up a lot with babies - namely how long is too long to be in a car seat and what should you do (and not do!) if your baby falls asleep in said car seat. Because we know that happens. Sometimes we go for a drive or a walk with a baby in the car seat for the sole purpose of getting them to sleep, so I totally get the struggle here… but there are some safety risks to be mindful of and we’re going to dive into that a little bit. 

...


Mental Health Minute

I DO NOT want you to feel like you can NEVER allow your baby to sleep in the car seat. 

Going down this rabbit hole will only make you feel less than a great parent, but you are a great parent! 

We’re all going to make decisions based on our own experiences, knowledge and cultural or environmental influences. 

As always, I want you to have all the facts so that you can make the best informed decisions you can when necessary.


So, what are the FACTS?

Well, The safest position for babies to sleep in is on their backs on a firm, flat surface. For babies under 1 year of age, you should always place your baby on his/her back for sleep.

Babies MUST be in a certified car seat that is approved by the country of origin and they must be in the car seat at all times when travelling in a motorized vehicle. 

So now, how do we make decisions based on this information? Here are just a few options to give you some examples:

If you are planning on going for a walk with baby with the hopes of he/she squeezing in a nap…

  • Can you use a carrier instead?
  • Or if you have the equipment, some stroller/seat combos have a bassinet that lays flat instead of the traditional car seat. So lying flat while out for a stroll might be an option for some people. 

If these are not options, or if you are driving while baby fall asleep in the car seat...

  • Limit travel time as much as possible, definitely not going over 2hrs 
  • Take breaks when necessary
  • Take baby out of the car seat once you’ve reached your destination and transfer them to a safer sleeping surface, like their crib
  • If for some reason baby had to stay in his/her car seat while sleeping (FOR A SHORT PERIOD), do not unclip them as their harness helps to keep them in a safer position.

And AS ALWAYS when it comes to babies in car seats - make sure they are installed correctly and baby is harnessed safely every time, for every ride.


Links:

For more information about safety regulations and information on anything related to babies and children, check out Child Safety Link’s website here.

And to find a Certified Car Seat Tech, visit the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada’s website here to find a tech in you area.