How well are you versed in the appropriate installation of your child’s car seat? Up to 95% of parents install newborn car seats incorrectly, according to one research. It turns out that installation is more difficult than we anticipated.
The problem is that car seats for babies have a variety of recommendations and restrictions. You also need to know how to fit a car seat into your vehicle because each vehicle is unique.
Additionally, there is a lot of additional information that you need to be familiar with. What we’re about to discuss is exactly that. To guarantee the safety of your child, read on to learn how to correctly install your car seat.
Where Should the Car Seat Go?
The owner’s manual for your vehicle is a good place to start. You can find out where a kid safety seat should be put in the vehicle by consulting the section on child passenger safety. The car seat manual is also a good source of information.
Your baby’s car seat should be placed in the middle of the second row, according to a study. Because they happen so frequently, side impacts are just as harmful as head-on collisions. Both front and side collisions can be avoided if there is a baby in the middle.
It’s not always practical to do this with multiple children, especially if you have more than one. In addition, not all automobiles have the essential “LATCH” anchors in the center seat of their vehicles (although most car seats can be installed with a seat belt instead). Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children” (LATCH) is the acronym for the LATCH method of child safety.
Car seat installation was made easier for parents by this product… A lot of cars made after 2003 have these anchors as standard.
Steps on installing infant car seat
A properly placed infant car seat is essential to protecting your child. An accident can be prevented if they have the correct installation. Installing it correctly is a matter of following these instructions:
For rear-facing seats, use both lower anchors and tethers if possible. As a result, the forward rotation of a crash is reduced, allowing infants to remain more stable in their seats.
At least two latches should be installed on each side of the vehicle seat, with a distance of three or four inches between them and the clip belt path that wraps around the vehicle seat frame. Make sure the straps aren’t twisted before putting your infant in the car seat every time.
Step 2: Verify that the car seat you’re using is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height.
An infant car seat that is rear-facing is appropriate for newborns, while a kid car seat that is forward-facing is best for older children who have outgrown their baby carrier.
A proper safety belt, which means it’s not loose around the child nor does it fit over dangerous areas, such as sharp corners, molding detailing at headrests, etc., where arms can get stuck under them, should be used in step three as well.
When wearing a shoulder belt, it should cross the center of your chest, not rest against your neck. Even if the motorist finds it inconvenient.
How to Install Infant and Toddler Car Seats
Child safety advocates recommend that all children ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least two years old.
Tips for Installing
- The lower anchors or the seat belt should be used just once. It’s not uncommon for parents to use both strategies in an attempt to ensure their child’s safety. Nonetheless, Dr. Hoffman explains, “Most manuals will advise you that this hasn’t been tested and so should not be done.”
- Rear-center is a good place to start. Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has long recommended that children ride in the back seat’s center, Jessica Jermakian, senior research scientist at the IIHS in Arlington, Va., explains, “many vehicles only have LATCH connections for the side seats.” Many parents have no choice but to utilize the middle seat belt, which is safe but cumbersome for them. For those who don’t have enough LATCH anchors for a middle seat, there’s the option of putting the seat in the middle and borrowing one from each side. In the event that you have more than one child, you will not be able to use this workaround.
- Position the seat so that it fits snugly. Start with the car seat in the middle, if the vehicle manufacturer allows it. Julie Prom, a certified CPS instructor and child-safety advocate in Chicago, suggests that if you can’t obtain a tight fit, you can slide it to either side. An ideal fit on the side is preferable to an unsatisfactory fit in the middle. This means that the seat should only move a few millimeters forward or backward.
- Put the seat belt on and secure it. It’s important that you pull the seatbelt out all the way so that it’s in locking mode when you install a seat. This can be done with the guidance of your car’s owner’s manual.
- Place your child in the appropriate position. Dr. Hoffman recommends that the child’s harness straps be snug and that the chest clip be placed at the child’s armpit level to prevent the straps from slipping off the shoulders. For rear-facing youngsters, “the clip is very critical,” he says, because they can be expelled if it isn’t in the correct position. To provide a secure fit, rear-facing riders’ harness straps must be threaded through slots located at or below their shoulders.
How to install a rear-facing infant car seat
- Consult the guide. Installing a car seat correctly necessitates familiarity with the specific installation instructions that come with your particular seat.
- Put the car seat in the back of the vehicle. If you have a young child, always put him or her in the rear seat, away from the passenger air bags. Place the car seat on either side of the backseat if your automobile doesn’t fit it securely there (or, if you drive an SUV, in the second row). Putting a car seat in the front seat is a bad idea. Even a little collision could cause the passenger-side airbag to deploy and injure your child. (It should be noted that children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat only.)
- It’s best to look at it from the opposite angle. It is recommended by experts such the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep children in the rear-facing position as long as feasible, until they have reached the maximum height or weight restriction permitted by their car seats. For what reasons is it so critical to maintain your infant in a rear-facing position for as long as possible When a baby or young child is sleeping, it is recommended for them to face backwards to protect their head, neck, and spine. Rear-facing infants and small children had a 71% lower risk of death in a car accident.
- The LATCH anchors can be found. Since 2002, all new vehicles have been equipped with a LATCH system as standard equipment (anchors and tethers designed to attach the car seat to the backseat of the car). Your car seat or base can be fastened to the vehicle’s seat using these anchor points. Check the bottom of your car seat for small metal loops that protrude slightly. Use the NHTSA’s guidelines when deciding how to secure your child in his/her car seat: either the LATCH system or the belts, but not both.
- Set up the foundation (LATCH method). You can use the LATCH system to secure a child’s car seat to the seat’s lower anchors by placing the base of the system in the rear seat. Make sure the connection is secure by following the instructions in the manual.
- Set up the foundation (seatbelt method). Installing baby car seats can be made simpler for certain parents by using the LATCH system. However, if done correctly, wearing a seatbelt is just as safe as not wearing one. The seatbelt can be used if your automobile doesn’t have LATCH anchors, or if you prefer to use the belt path on your base. In most cases, a seatbelt can be locked simply by drawing the belt out and reinserting it. If this procedure does not work for your vehicle, go to the manual for more information..
- Tighten the cable. Pull the slack out of either the LATCH straps or the seatbelt by pressing hard on the middle of the base. Additional safety precautions like a load leg should also be checked for proper installation.
- Make sure the base is solid. Now, go back and review what you’ve done. After holding it with your non-dominant arm, shake it like you would a handshake. Should not move more than one inch from the side or front to back when shook vigorously. If that doesn’t work, try pressing down on the center again and tightening the straps even further.
- Observe the angle. Your car seat base should be at a safe angle, as well. Make sure your baby is seated in the correct semi-reclined position by following this step. Adjust the seat until the angle is correct by looking for an indicator on the side of your base.
- Put your baby in the car seat. The next step is to attach the infant carrier to the base once the base is in place. The majority of car seats have a mechanism that “clicks” when the seat is properly installed. Without a base, some car seats can be placed. Repeat the procedure, paying attention to the angle of the seat and the connection’s tightness.
- The handle can be adjusted to the desired position. Last but not least, make sure the car seat handle is in the proper position by referring to your owner’s manual. When transporting a seat, the upright handle position is more common.