Child Seat Safety Tips To Remember On The Road

For a number of parents car seats can be a bit confusing. We all know how important they are to the protection and well being of our children, but finding one and using one can be a bit overwhelming. You can spend weeks researching the best car seats on the market and finally end up getting something that you are confident will keep your little one safe, but then you have to figure out how to install it properly and make sure your child is securely fastened inside of it. This is where doubt creeps in and we start to freak out because we are not sure if we are doing everything correctly.

There are a certain aspects of using your new car seat to pay attention to so that you can avoid putting your child at risk. We hope that by the end you have a better understanding of what to look at for and feel more comfortable using your new car seat. It is natural to feel a little stress, but we can overcome this.

Car Seat Safety Tips

Below are some of the things you need to watch out for so that your child is safe and you can calm down knowing that they are protected. Your focus on the road should be what is in front of you and not what is in the back seat. There are numerous types of child car seats from which to choose, but no matter if you are using a booster, infant, or convertible car seat, many of the same tips apply.

Getting The Right Seat

Safety seat recommendations are based on the height and weight of your child. This is something that you must be familiar with before getting a new seat. Infant seats are designed for smaller children typically up to 2 years old. All seats have weight limits. Most standard convertible seats have a general range between 5 and 65 lbs. Booster seats are for taller children and can go up to 120 lbs.

Convertible seats also have a weight and height range for using both the rear facing and forward facing positions. This is critical because switching your child to forward facing too soon can put your them in a dangerous situation. They should ride in the rear facing position as long as possible before making the switch.

Read The Manual Front To Back

This requires a little work and a lot of study, but the owner’s manual is something that you diligently need to learn. Following the instructions on how to properly secure the car seat to your vehicle is extremely important. Once you have that mastered then you must learn how your child should fit inside of the seat. Knowing where the harness straps should sit, how tight they need to be, and where the chest buckle, if your seat has one, should ride. Doing all of these correctly can save your child from possible injury in the event of a crash. If the manuals seem too confusing, most car seat makers also have videos on their websites to help make sure installation is done right.

To take things a step further, many local fire stations will also inspect your seat and give you practical tips to ensure that your 100% comfortable with how to use the seat correctly on a daily basis.

What Is In Your Seat

For kids with allergies and for the general health of little ones, it can also be helpful to know if your seat is made with any toxic chemicals or allergens. Car seats must be fire resistant and to achieve this a variety of retardants are used. For certain individuals this can be a problem. If you are worried about the hazards of certain car seat chemicals, then this is something that you should consider before buying a new model.

Make Sure To Buy New

Car seats have an expiration date. This is something that most new parents are not aware of and it is something that can end up costing you if you try and buy a used seat. Another reason to avoid used child seats is that you do not know if they have been in a previous car accident. It may look alright, but crash forces could weaken and compromise the seat which is why it is always recommended to discard seats that have been in any sort of wreck. Always get a new seat from a store that you can trust.

Avoid Stress On The Road

Our job behind the wheel is to give our attention to what is in front of us. If we are always concerned about our kids in the back, have any doubt about the integrity of their seat, or just worry incessantly about whether everything is secured properly, then bad things are likely to happen. Practicing installing your seat beforehand, reading the manual, getting a second opinion, and buying a reputable seat will help alleviate a lot of the worry and let you keep your eyes on the road. It does take much except a little research and some practice to get your confidence up and help keep your children safe while out on the road.

Postpartum Depression and Its Significant Impact For New Mothers

A moderate to severe depressive episode suffered by mothers that have just given birth is called postpartum depression. An estimated 10% to 15% of new mothers will suffer from this form of depression and if left untreated it can last for weeks, months or even years. It may not be evident right away and may not develop until a year after having a child, a stillbirth or a miscarriage. Giving birth causes a women’s hormone levels to fluctuate drastically and it can lead to wild mood swings and a heightened emotional state. These dramatic changes can leave a woman vulnerable to postpartum depression.

It is crucial to know the risk factors, symptoms and treatment options so that proper help can be sought in a timely manner should you or a loved one suffer from this type of depression.

Postpartum depression is different than and should not be confused with the normal “baby blues” that is frequently experienced by new mothers. By some estimates, up to75% of women will have these “baby blues” within the first two weeks after giving birth and they may include feelings of being overwhelmed, brought to tears rather easily, irritability, sadness and an inability to sleep. Since this is a common event for new mothers it is not considered a disorder or an illness and it usually passes in a few days to a couple of weeks.

Symptoms

Symptoms for postpartum depression are similar to the common depression symptoms discussed on the main page. A few additional symptoms may also be experienced as well. Along with the usual symptoms a new mother with postpartum depression may also exhibit the following:

  • Unable to care for the baby or herself
  • Have little to no interest in the baby or conversely worry excessively about the baby
  • Have thoughts of harming the baby (though rarely acted on)
  • Negative thoughts towards the baby
  • Scared to be alone with the infant

There may be physical medical conditions that produce depression, such as hypothyroidism. It is encouraged to have your doctor perform blood and other tests to rule out any illness or underlying condition that may be the cause your depression. A new mother who experiences any of the above symptoms combined with other depression symptoms should not wait to inform their health care provider.

Risk Factors

While the cause of this particular type of depression is not known, there are certain risk factors that may contribute to postpartum depression.

  • A family history of depression or mental illness
  • A personal history of depression or mental illness, those who have suffered a depressive episode previously may be at increased risk
  • A previous episode of postpartum depression after the birth of an earlier child
  • Unplanned pregnancy
  • Economic hardship before or during pregnancy
  • Single mothers
  • Had a traumatic or stressful experience during the pregnancy such as the death of a loved one
  • Those with little to no family or other support system during pregnancy
  • Those who experience a miscarriage or stillbirth
  • If after the baby is born it is constantly sick or fighting a particular illness or complication

Having any of the above risk factors does not mean someone will definitely develop postpartum depression, it just means they may be more susceptible. The opposite is true as well, not having any of the above risk factors does not mean someone cannot develop it.

Postpartum Depression Treatment

Treatment for this type of depression may include depression medications, psychotherapy (talk therapy) or a combination of both depending on how severe the depression is. There are certain types of antidepressants that are recommended and safe for breastfeeding mothers. There are also specific types of talk therapy that are effective for postpartum depression such as interpersonal therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. Any new mother concerned they might be showing signs of postpartum depression is highly encouraged not to wait to speak to their doctor or find a mental health care provider in their area.

Postpartum Psychosis

Postpartum psychosis is a rare condition, but it is also the most serious and involves delusions and hallucinations or both. A new mother is more likely to act on her thoughts of hurting her child if suffering from this disorder. Anyone suspected of having postpartum psychosis should seek immediate help.

When To Seek Help?

Anyone who thinks they or a loved one may be suffering from postpartum depression is advised to seek professional help as soon as possible. If the “baby blues” do not subside after at least 2 weeks, if you cannot take care of your baby or yourself or your depression symptoms become more severe do not be ashamed to seek help.

Suicide is always a risk in severe cases of depression. If you are worried for your baby’s or your own health and our having thoughts of suicide please call 911 or your local emergency center and ask for immediate help. You can also call the national suicide hotline (US) 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

A new baby can be quite overwhelming and with the changes a women’s body goes through during pregnancy and child birth it may leave them vulnerable to developing this type of depression. Knowing what to be on the lookout for during and after pregnancy can go along way towards preventing and quickly treating postpartum depression. Don’t be ashamed or scared to ask for help.
Below is a video further detailing postpartum depression.