When actress and model Ali Landry’s first child was born she thought she was doing everything right. She got a car seat she “just trusted,” installed it how she thought it was supposed to go, threw a car seat cover over it, and called it a day.
After taking courses with Safe Kids, Landry learned she was doing it all wrong.
The seat wasn’t installed correctly and the cute toys she’d attached were a major no-no. Luckily, Landry corrected the opportunity before anything bad happened but not all parents are so lucky.
She remembers a heartbreaking story of a woman who thought she had gotten the right car seat for her 3-year-old, but she hadn’t. There was an accident and the child was ejected from the vehicle.
Landry said her heart breaks for the woman, who only wanted to do the right thing for her child. If she had been better informed, none of this would have happened.
Making a difference
Landry is now a safety seat technician with Safe Kids and she has started an annual Celebrity Red CARpet event, for which she gathers influential people to raise awareness about the importance of car seat safety. Now in its eighth year, she said the event has started some really great conversations.
It’s important to take car seat safety seriously and Landry strongly urges all parents to do their research and go the extra mile when it comes to setting up car seats for their kids. From double checking the seat’s design to double checking the car seats offered by rental car services, no detail is too small.
“Really my advice is to not cut corners when it comes to safety,” she said, adding that parents shouldn’t take anything for granted. “Think about every possible scenario and do that extra level of research.”
What to look for
For car seats, Landry recommends a 5-point harness, and said she tried to keep her children in a 5-point harness for as long as possible. She also said the mistake she sees most often is in the installation process.
“My husband was the one who installed our car seat. Men think they can do what they want and not check the instructions,” she quipped.
Parents might assume the worst will never happen to them, not do enough research, and/or forget important lessons on safety they’ve already learned. Landry cautions against this attitude because it is impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen in the future. The fact is, a careless slip-up could be deadly, so being over-prepared is essential.
Luckily, every year companies are creating easier and safer car seats for children, which means there’s always a little less research that needs to be done. Landry says being a parent makes you part of a new community, which comes with a lot of support.
“We all make mistakes and support one another,” she said.