Car Seat Safety Tips

Car Seat Safety Tips

We see you. Frantically googling things like ‘proper car seat installation’ and ‘how do I make my tiny human fit right in this thing?’ into the wee hours of the morning. There’s lots of moving parts when it comes to car seat installation but it’s important that they’re all moving in the same direction. Car seats can be daunting, no matter if it’s your first or fifth child. If you’re installing your very first infant car seat, finally switching to a convertible seat, or putting in your tenth seat, there’s always some level of anxiety when it comes to your child’s safety. Hopefully, we can alleviate some of that anxiety with these car seat safety tips and tricks to keep your little, or not so little, one as safe as they can be.
three blonde boys smiling and laughing in their car seatsthree blonde boys smiling and laughing in their car seats

- Avoid second-hand seats. Who knows where the seats been and what’s happened to it? Certainly not you. Without a complete history of the seat from someone you trust, it’s better to get a new seat. Even if you trust whoever gives you the secondhand seat, car seat technology is always advancing, so the seat might be dated in terms of safety.

- Avoid thick layers under the harness. It may look like the harness is pulled as tight as necessary, but those thick layers can be deceiving. The added bulk from coats and sweaters may keep your little one warm but defeat the purpose of the harness straps.

- Keep the car seat in the back seat of the car. Children are safer in the backseat and some states even have laws that prevent children from sitting in the front seat before a certain age.

- Make sure everyone knows how to properly use the car seat. You never know when someone other than yourself will need to use the car seat. Give yourself, and everyone around you, peace of mind when you’re away from your baby by teaching them the ins and outs of your car seat.

dad putting newborn in infant carrier into cardad putting newborn in infant carrier into car
dad buckling little girl in rear-facing convertible car seatdad buckling little girl in rear-facing convertible car seat

- Anchor when forward-facing. Seats that are capable of facing-forward come with a tether strap that connects to the back of your vehicle. This is an essential connection that better protects your child in the event of a crash.

- Make sure the seat is installed properly, whether with a seat belt or the LATCH system. For peace of mind, you can always find a CPST near you to double check your car seat installation.

- When using a five-point harness, make sure it passes the Pinch Test. If you can grab hold of the harness fabric between your pointer finger and thumb when your child is belted into the seat, the harness is too loose. The harness should lay flat against your child’s chest and there shouldn’t be any give.

- Make sure the harness is in the right place and the straps aren’t twisted. The straps should be even with or just above your child’s shoulders when forward-facing and at or below your baby’s shoulders when rear-facing. The chest clip should hit around the armpit region to ensure the best fit for the harness.

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