Car seats are important for protecting your child in the event of an accident. A properly installed car safety seat will make a big difference when it comes to their wellbeing, so be sure you choose one that fits them correctly and uses it consistently throughout every trip.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has some helpful tips for using car seats.
Does your vehicle have airbags?
- When you use a rear-facing car seat in the front of a vehicle with an active airbag, it can cause serious injury or death for children. The inflating mechanism will hit them right where their heads rest and put them at risk of being dazed by what happened last year when I got pregnant: crashing into things harder than before!
- When it comes to safety, the backseat is where you should be riding your child. No matter their weight or height – they’ll stay safer in that location than anywhere else!
- The best way to keep your child safe when riding in the front seat is by using a harnessed, forward-facing car seat. Make sure that you move it as far back from any airbags and dashboard possible before placing their little head there.
When it comes to weight, height, and age your child should be facing the right way:
- Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat until they reach the weight or height allowed by their manufacturer. Most children will outgrow this position before reaching the maximum limit of 190 centimeters (6 ft), which is about age 5 years old! When your child does move onto convertibles, be sure to follow guidelines closely since these have limits on how long you can keep them restrained solely face forward as well at various stages during the development stage.
- Keep your child safe with a car safety seat that matches their weight and height. If they exceed the rear-facing limit for convertibles, move them to forward-facing seats until there is an option of one which can accommodate up to 65 pounds or more.
Make sure that the car seat harness is snug and correctly adjusted:
- When fitting harness straps, make sure they are snug against your child’s body and the car seat instructions will tell you how to adjust them.
- When wearing the chest clip, place it at armpit level to keep your harness straps secure on kids’ shoulders.
Is the car seat installed correctly in your vehicle?
- Not all vehicles are compatible with every type of seat, so be sure to check the compatibility before purchasing one.
- To make sure your little ones are safe, read through the car seat instructions on how best to use it.
Using the LATCH system for the car seat is recommended:
- There are 2 ways to secure your car safety seat: with the vehicle’s own lap belt or through LATCH. While both systems provide an equally good level of protection, caregivers might find themselves using one more often than another depending on their personal situation and what is most convenient at any given time for installation purposes in terms of getting into or out of either type/style clip parker seats without having too many loose parts hanging around when not being used which could distract from the attention being paid forward onto roadways ahead.
- The LATCH system is a great way to make sure your car seat and child’s lower anchors meet up. This means that if you’re hauling around someone who weighs over 65 pounds, it might be time for an upgrade!
- The new rule also applies when purchasing any type of vehicle with seats built after September 1st, 2002 as well – so check those labels before loading up on groceries or luggage at night while driving home from work during rush hour traffic; there could easily have been some changes since then which would affect how much weight each individual has handled safely without crashing into something else first.
- The top tether is a safety device that can be used by any vehicle’s occupants. The anchor points are located in various places depending on the type and make, but they all have one thing in common: if there isn’t an appropriate place for you to attach your own weight while driving-either because it doesn’t exist or would put excessive strain on other parts -then use these anchors instead.
Using a top tether:
The top tether does a great job of improving the safety provided by the seat. Use it for all forward-facing seats up to the highest weight allowed in your vehicle and from there on out, you’re going to Jury rig everything together with some extra straps just like we talked about before!
The best part? You can use these same principles whether or not they are installed properly so long as their anchor points match those described within each individual manufacturer’s instructions (which usually include details such as where hardware should go).
Is the LATCH strap or seat belt in the right place and pulled tight?
- Route the car’s safety belt or LATCH strap through its correct path. Some convertibles have different paths for rear-facing versus forward-facing (check your instructions), so be sure to follow these specialized rules depending on how you’ll use them.
- The installation of your car seat is a quick and easy process if you use the vehicle’s built-in safety features. In most newer cars, this can be done by pulling out on both ends until they meet again or securing with lock-offs found within each product as needed – just make sure that when doing so it remains securely fastened around its mountings in order to avoid accidents.
- To make sure your car seat is installed securely, first pull the belt tight and then apply weight into it with one hand while observing how much movement there is in both side-to-side and frontward directions. When properly fastened (and without any signs of wiggling), avoid putting more than an inch between you and this vital safety device.
When is your child too old for the forward-facing seat?
- The forward-facing limit for a car seat is 4 feet 9 inches. All children whose weight or height exceeds this should use an annual booster until they have reached 12 years old, when it will no longer be necessary to install the belts properly in your vehicle’s seats due to their size difference from other passengers who are usually adults (16 years old). It’s very important that you check how well fitted these types of restraints can become before using them on long journeys as some may fit poorly depending upon where one sits within Thoroughbred cycle ergonomic research found high level offinal discomfort among those users engaged.
- It’s important to wear a seatbelt every time you ride in order for the safety precautions of wearing one. The device should be snug and low, with children being tall enough so that their knees don’t bend over when sitting against vehicle seatsback while driving long distances or taking short trips around town; also make sure they can still stay buckled up without slouching.
Have you got the instructions for your car seat?
- Make sure the car seat is always safe and secure with you by following them.
- You must keep your child in the car seat until they reach their weight or height limit set by the manufacturer. Follow instructions to determine whether it’s rear-facing and which type (rear or front), as well as installing using LATCH; never use vehicle belts.
Have you noticed any recall issues with your car seat?
- You can find out if your car is safe by calling the manufacturer or NHTSA Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888/327-4236. You should also check their website www.safercar.gov.
- To avoid accidents and protect yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for making any repairs to your car seat.
- When installing a car seat, be sure to fill in and mail in the registration card that comes with it. You will need this for any recalls as well.
What’s the history of your child’s car seat?
- The safety of your child is too important to take chances with. Make sure you know the history and inspection status of any used car seat before using it.
- When purchasing a car seat, make sure it’s in good condition and doesn’t have any cracks on its frame or missing parts. You should also check the expiration date before using it.
- When installing a car safety seat, make sure you get one with labels from the manufacturer and instructions. Keep both in an easily accessible place so that they’re close at hand when needed.
- You should call the car seat manufacturer if you have any questions about its safety.
The National Child Passenger Safety Certification website at http://cert.safekids.org and clicking on “Find a Tech” is the best way to find an installer that can help you install your car seat correctly, in case any questions come up about how it’s done.
- Car Seat Checkup https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seat-Checkup.aspx (Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information on this site is not a substitute for medical care and advice from your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that he or she recommends based on individual facts, circumstances or personal preference you have as an adult who is now taking responsibility of caring for another life stage alongside their own childhoods!
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