Baby and toddler safety
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Katrina Phillips
Baby proofing and Child Safety Expert. Chief Executive of the Child Accident Prevention Trust.
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Car seat safety

Having the right sort of car seat, and having it correctly positioned in your car, is absolutely vital for your baby's/ toddler's safety.
In Short
Your baby should be in a backwards facing seat for as long as possible.

The back seat of the car is safer than the front.

If you ever have to have your baby in the front seat – make sure the airbags are turned off.

Put your baby into the car, and take them out, from the footpath side, not the street side.

Don't have your little baby in a car seat for longer than 30 minutes at a time - break up the journey if necessary - especially if your baby was premature.

Should I have my baby in a backwards facing seat?

When you’re travelling with your baby in a car the Child Accident Prevention Trust recommends that you keep your baby in a backward facing seat for as long as possible because their heads are a lot heavier in proportion to their bodies, so their neck can’t support them in a crash. So a rear facing seat gives babies better protection.

Is the back seat safer than the front seat?

The back seat of the car is safer than the front, generally, when you’re in an accident it’s the front of the car that takes the brunt.

Do I need to switch off the car airbags if I have a baby seat in the front seat?

If you do need to carry your baby in the front of the car and you’ve got an airbag, make sure that the airbag is switched off in that front passenger seat. In a collision, an airbag can actually hit the back of your baby’s car seat and fling your baby up in the air. So it’s very important to switch off that airbag if you are carrying the baby in the front.

Taking your baby in and out of the car?

When you’re taking the baby in and out of the car, have the seat on the side nearest the pavement or sidewalk, so that you are not in the traffic.

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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.