Best Safety Practices While Using Your New Child Seat

Convertible car seat safety tips

Driving with a child can be a daunting experience and it is quite easy to get distracted. The most important thing about driving with a baby, however, is the proper use of a child restraint seat. These are designed to save lives, but improper use of this piece of equipment can be almost as dangerous as not using one. You do not want your child to become a tragic statistic. Below are some tips to help you keep your family safe while driving.

Finding The Right Car Seat for Your Child

Car seats come in a variety of sizes and features. It can be difficult for any new parent to find the right one for their child. Before buying a car seat, it is essential to consider the age and weight of your baby. Children below the age of 2 are safer in a rear-facing car seat. It saves them from any sudden change of direction due to slamming on the brakes. Once they are over the age of 2 you may make them sit in a front facing car seat. It is best to read the instruction manual for accurate information and whether it is best suited for your child.

Convertible car seats are a great option because they are made to handle small infants and can be adjusted as your child grows to accommodate larger kids. You get get a lot of use out of just one seat.

Always Use The Back Seat

The car seat must be placed firmly on the back seat of the car. This place is comparatively safer than the front passenger seat. In case of an emergency, the child would get more injuries due to the air bag if the car seat is placed on the front seat. The middle of the back seat is the safest place for a baby to ride the vehicle, although some vehicles may not have lower anchors to place the car seat tightly in the middle. You may choose either side of the back seat where you may fix the car seat tightly using lower anchors and seat belts. Whether you use an infant, booster, or convertible car seat, always make sure to use the back seat of your vehicle.

Keep The Little Ones Occupied

Long rides may irritate your child. You may easily keep you child engaged with the help of a toy. But be careful while choosing a toy used during rides. Never buy toys that have sharp edges as it may cause injuries in instances of vehicle jerk. Very big toys are also not advisable while the baby is on the ride. Buy smaller soft toys that are harmless for you baby. Also keep the toy in your car so that your baby is always excited to play with it when buckled in the car seat. Some of today’s infant car seats come with a cup holder which will come in real handy while driving.

Inspect Your New Seat

It is essential to check whether the seat is firm before every use. This will ensure child safety and prevent accidents caused due to loose latches and tethers. Check if the seat is becoming loose or moving out of its place. Check whether lower anchors are fitted well and there is no risk of moving off the car seat while driving. Proper installation is extremely important. If you are not sure of how to install a car seat, read the installation manual carefully. You may also get the seat installed correctly by visiting the inspection center or hospitals where technicians will help you to get through it.

Changing Your Seat

You may need to change your car seat under two conditions. First, if your baby has outgrown the car seat, and secondly if the seat has expired. In both the cases, it is better to get another one for safe car rides. If you find your baby’s height and weight are exceeding the car seat, its time to buy a booster seat for harnessing safety. If your child is over 12 years of age and can sit comfortably wearing seat belts, make sure they are using the lap belt too. All car seat have an expiry date which is somewhere around 6 years. Check the label for the expiry date and get a new one, if required.

Avoid Buying Used

Having a child can be an expensive experience and while it would be great if you could go out and buy the best rated convertible child seat for your family, budget restraints often have us looking for other options. However, you should be extra cautious when trying to save a few dollars on a new child safety seat. This is one area that it does not pay to be thrifty if can help it.

It is not a good idea buy a seat second hand unless you are absolutely sure that it has not been involved in an accident already. Car seats that have been in a crash are of no use and someone may sell you a used car seat that may be compromised. It is best not to buy car seats from someone you don’t know. Ideally, you should purchase a new car seat with proper labels and instruction manuals that will not only help you to install it correctly but also ensure your child’s safety.

The Dangers Of Postpartum Depression For New Mothers

postpartum

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.

Postpartum Depression 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.

Postpartum Depression 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.