For parents and nannies that share the responsibility of transporting kids to and from their various activities, it’s important that you are aware of your local state laws regarding car seat usage, in addition to what the best practices are to keep kids safest. Here are two helpful tips to ensure both your family and your nanny are on the same page when it comes to car seats.
#1: Permanent installation.
Plan to have a car seat always installed in the family vehicle and allow the nanny to drive it. While it may work for some nannies to use their own vehicle to transport the kids, it’s not likely she will want the seat in her car when she’s not working, and having the seat removed and re-installed all the time will allow for greater chance of installing it incorrectly. Statistics show that most car seats are installed incorrectly or not used properly, so ensure that the seat is installed correctly according to the manual and keep it in place unless you absolutely must remove it.
#2: Rear versus front facing.
When transporting infants and newborns, rear-facing only car seats with removable bases are required. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids stay in rear-facing seats until they are at least two years old, or until they reach the maximum weight and height for the car seat. A lot of the car seats on the market today have higher weight and height limits, which allows the children to stay in the rear position for longer, which is the safest. Experts recommend keeping them rear facing for as long as possible.
Experts recommend keeping children rear facing for as long as possible.
Your expectations for transporting children are something that should be clearly communicated with your nanny, both during the job interview and right at the beginning of her employment. If you need her to take the kids to school, doctor appointments or other extracurricular activities, she will need to know ahead of time. Outline specific details about transportation, including information on gas and mileage reimbursement, and insurance in her nanny work agreement at the time of hire. If nanny is to use her personal vehicle to transport your children (not recommended), you should provide new car seats for her use, and consider including regularly scheduled car detailing and safety inspections as part of the package.
When it comes to keeping your kids safe in the car, it is important to make sure that there are no misunderstandings between you and your nanny.