Installing Car Seats Properly Could Help Save Lives

Installing Car Seats Properly Could Help Save Lives

If you’ve ever installed a car seat, you know it can be a little frustrating.

Well, as far as frustration levels goes, it’s probably between standing in line at the DMV and getting a root canal. Here are some tips to help ease the headaches and keep your precious cargo safe and sound!

Did you know: Properly installed and correctly used car seats can decrease the risk of a fatal injury by 71 percent for infants, 54 percent for toddlers and 45 percent for children ages four to eight.

So you bought the perfect seat. Now sit down and read the seat’s manual AND your vehicle’s manual. And follow each step as if your child’s health depends on it, because it does.

A great next step would be getting some expert advice and fortunately the non-profit, Safe Kids Worldwide, has pretty amazing resources. Safe Kids Coalitions host car seat check events and has more than 40,000 certified child passenger safety technicians all over the country.  Find one near you and get your installation checked or have them help you install it.

PRO-TIP: Do this before your bundle of joy arrives so you are ready to go from day one. You will learn and practice how to correctly use the car seat, including how to adjust the harness for when you baby arrives. And then do it again once your baby arrives to ensure the child is properly fitted.

Going the DIY route. Here are some helpful tips to remember:
  • All car seats (and all kids under 13) should be correctly buckled in the back seat.
  • Once you install the seat you should not be able to move it more than one inch in either direction at the belt path. You can do this by using the seat belt or the LATCH system. Always using the top tether for forward-facing seats. Learn more about top tether car seats.
  • The harness straps must be snug and the chest clip should be at armpit level. No heavy coats or blankets under the straps either and make sure the straps are not twisted.

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