Car Seat Safety Suggestions

Making use of a car seat is the first and most important step in helping to secure the safety of your children in a car. But just having a car seat is not sufficient in itself: the car seat has to be used, and it needs to be used properly. Here are some tips to help ensure that your kids will be as secure as possible in their car seat. - Always make certain that you completely read and understand the manufacturer's recommendations on how to use the car seat properly.

Improper car seat usage is the single-biggest reason for car seat failure. Also read the owner's manual for your car concerning the usage of car seats. Most car owner's manuals have detailed instructions for car seat installation and these recommendations must always be followed. - To maximize the security of your child, always put the car seat in the rear set of your car, not in the front seat.

for optimum safety, you should install the car set in the middle of the rear seat so that there is increased security against intrusion during side-impact collisions. - If your car seat must be placed in the front seat (if there is no back seat), only place it there if there is no front seat airbag or if the airbag can be disabled. And then make sure that the airbag is indeed off. Never use a car seat in the front seat of a vehicle if the passenger-side airbag is enabled. - Keep your infant in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible so long as they meet the weight and size restrictions for the car seat when it is rear-facing.

It is safer for your kids to be rear-facing. - When you strap your kid in the car seat, be sure the harness fits snugly and be sure to use the chest strap. The chest strap should sit over the chest per the manufacturer's instructions. If this strap is too low, your child may not be secure in an accident. If the chest strap is too high, it may crush your child's neck in the event of an accident. - As soon as your child outgrows their car seat, you should use a booster seat until such time as the seat belt fits them correctly.

Usually this is until they are about 4' 9" tall or 80 pounds. Check your vehicle owner's guide for the exact limits with your car. When it does fit correctly, the shoulder belt should fit over the shoulders, not on the neck, and the lap belt should fit across the hips, not the stomach. - Once you think you have the car seat properly put in, have the car seat inspected by a certified car seat technician. This can be done in minutes at no cost.

Check to discover the nearest seat check location to you. - Avoid used car seats unless you know for certain the age and history of the car seat.

Do not use car seats older than five years old, or car seats that have been involved in an accident. Be certain that used car seats have all of their labels with the manufacturing information, manufacturing date, and model number. Also, make sure that the instructions are available; never purchase a car seat without the manufacturer's manual. - If your vehicle comes equipped with the LATCH system for car seats, be sure to purchase LATCH-compatible car seats. Using the LATCH system makes for easier installation, leading to increased security and reduced chance of installation problems. Still, the car seat installation should still be checked by a certified car seat technician once it is complete.

- Go to the website for the manufacturer for your car. Often times, automobile manufacturer's website will list, on a per-model basis, the car seats they recommend for usage in their vehicles.

Marsha is a housewife with 3 children and as such she's had plenty of opportunities to use lots of car seats. You can check out her car seat reviews at

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