- Read the manual that came with your child's car seat from cover to cover!
- The LATCH system and belting system should NOT be used at the same time (unless stated otherwise in the manual).
- Check your local health or fire departments for someone who will help your properly install your car seat for FREE.
- The base or seat should not be able to move more than an inch any direction! The seat must be strapped in as tight as you can get it.
- Follow the car seat's manual's instruction for how to properly install the seat because not all car seats are the same.
- Make sure that you have the seat belts or LATCH tethers positioned properly.
- A rear-facing seat should typically be installed at a 45 degree angle.
- When using an infant carrier, the handle should be positioned down (unless stated otherwise in the manual).
- When a child is in a booster (whether high-back or backless) the child MUST have the shoulder and lap belts, not just the lap belt alone.
- A car seat should never be placed in the front seat of a car unless it is a two-seater vehicle (typically trucks) where the air bags can be turned off (consult your car's manual for how to properly do this).
- Children should remain rear-facing until 1 year old AND 20 lbs by law, but it is recommended that children now remain rear-facing until AT LEAST 2 years old, and even beyond if the car seat's weight/height limits allow it.
- Children should remain in a five-point harness until they are 4 years old AND 40 lbs, and they can remain beyond that point if the car seat's weight/height limits allow it .
- Children must remain in a booster until 4'9 and 40 lbs or 8 years old by law.
- Your child must move to a booster once the child's shoulders are higher than the highest slots for the straps and/or the child has outgrown the weight and height limits for the seat.
- If you child outgrows the weight and/or height limits for any seat (infant carrier or convertible), then your child either needs a new seat with higher weight/height limits or needs to graduate to the next type of seat.
- When your child is rear-facing, the straps should come out of the slots at or BELOW the child's shoulders.
- When your child is forward-facing, the straps should come out of the slots at or ABOVE the child's shoulders.
- In a five-point harness, the straps should not be twisted, they should be snug (you should not be able to pinch any slack or easily get your fingers under the chest clip), and the chest clip should be about even with the bottom of your child's armpits (no lower!).
- In a booster, the shoulder belt should not touch your child's neck, and the lap belt should not touch your child's stomach.
- Aftermarket attachments (head/body supports, strap covers, cup holders, toys, etc.) should NOT be used on your child's car seat. If it was not made for the car seat, it's not safe. Using these things actually voids the warranties of most car seats.
- If your child has a winter coat on and you have to loosen the straps to buckle your child, the coat is too big, which makes the seat unsafe.
- Car seats expire! Check your car seat's expiration date. If it has expired, it's time for a new one!
- If the car seat is in a moderate to severe wreck (whether the child was in the seat or not) you must get a new car seat!
- If you need help purchasing a car seat, check with your local health department. Many of them have programs to help with just that!
- An infant carrier should NEVER be placed on top of a shopping cart! It is NOT safe.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Car seat safety: All in one
In this post, I am going to sum up everything I have posted in my car seat safety posts.
It is our job as parents to keep our children safe! In today's world, that is no simple task, but there is one thing you have complete control over... car seat safety! Our children are not minimums, so lets take the time to insure their safety!
Here are my babies getting ready to ride safe and sound :)