Tips for Installing a Car Seat
Does it seem that there are more accidents lately or are we just more aware of them than we were in the past? I was floored when I read a report that shared a child under 13 is involved in an auto accident every 33 seconds! What?!?
This was so shocking; thinking about how often I toss my crew into the car and run back and forth to lessons and sports activities.
Thankfully, I haven’t been in an accident when my children or grandchildren were with me. I’ve had my share of accidents, but I was alone when they happened. However, the knowledge of how many accidents do involve children did cause me to stop and take the time to make sure our car seats were properly installed and still secure.
How about your car seats? When was the last time you checked to make sure they were securely installed? When was the last time you checked to make sure your child was in the right car seat for their weight and height? You know there are different styles of car seats depending on the age, weight and height of a child.
Tips for Selecting and Installing a Car Seat
- Make sure your car seat is made to fit your child. As your child grows, the straps and shoulder harness settings will need to be adjusted. Take the time to make sure they are set correctly based on your child’s current size and age.
- Make sure the car seat you are considering purchasing is made for your type of vehicle. Not all car seats are made fit in every vehicle so make sure to look up the details in your manual or online at the brand for the car seat.
- Make sure you have installed the car seat correctly. Tip: There shouldn’t be an extra strap or clip if installed correctly. Not sure? Read the manual. Most are pretty clear and many contain images to help with the installation.
- Make sure you have the right type of car seat for the age of your child. Consider purchasing the All-in-One car seat version as they offer an advantage of being able to use the same car seat for the all seating positions. New born up to about one year of age need to be rear-facing, One year to about 5 or 6 years old depending on the state requirements and the size/weight of your child need to be forward-facing and strapped in with the harness or 5 point locking system, over 6 or 7 depending on the state and your child need a booster seat. The All-in-One car seats usually have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Making sure your child is safe in their car seat and buckled up EVERY time you get in your car is so important. If you are unsure if your seat is installed correctly, please take the time to make sure it is. Cars.com has several videos and suggestions that are super helpful.
They also have a comparison of the most popular vehicles and have issued a grading sheet based on the safe installation of car seats. It is an interesting article to read especially if you are considering a vehicle purchase in the near future. I know it will be something that I take into consideration with my next purchase. Knowing I can safely install our car seats is a deal breaker for me.
You can also stop in at most car dealerships and fire departments for a car seat safety check.