There is no overstating how important it is to keep you and your family safe while you are on the road. This is especially true when you have little ones are are expecting them in the near future. As you are probably already aware, all children need to be in a car seat of some kind until the are to a certain age, height, and weight. The specifics laws and regulations in place regarding this vary from state to state. However, in many cases, children must be in a car seat until they are close to five feet tall and about twelve years old.
All parents have their child’s best intentions in mind when purchasing and installing a car seat. However, with the large variety of car seats that the average child goes through from the time they are born until the time they are old enough to stop using one, as well as the many different types of vehicles on the market these days, knowing exactly how to install a seat correctly can be a challenge. Luckily, there are some tips that parents can keep in mind to ensure that their child’s car seat is installed as securely and safely as possible.
The first and foremost piece of advice that all parents should heed is to read through the car seat manual in its entirety prior to or while installing the seat. After all, no two car seats are exactly the same, even among car seats from the same manufacturer. Therefore, following the instructions step by step is the best way to ensure that nothing is missed and that the car seat is installed properly, giving your child the best protection in the event of an accident.
In addition to the car seat manual itself, most vehicles also have a section about car seat installation in the owner’s manual. Therefore, taking the time to read about this is also vital for all parents. After all, latch and anchor systems vary depending on the make, model, and year the vehicle was manufactured.
Another helpful tip to keep in mind when installing a car seat is to start by fitting the child in the car seat while it is outside of the vehicle. This will make for less adjusting and hassle once the seat is in the car and can save a lot of time in the long run.
Next, be sure that the car seat is positioned properly in the car. For rear and forward facing seats, it is important to ensure that it is as far towards the center of the vehicle as possible. In doing so, the child is best protected in the event of a side-collision.
Finally, it never hurts to have your work checked over by a trained professional. Many fire and police departments hold car seat workshops on a regular basis, where they will check your child’s car seat to ensure that it is installed correctly. They can even show you how to better secure the seat on your own, so be sure get into contact with your local police of fire department to inquire about this. By going to a car seat workshop, you can take advantage of a free service that will keep your child as safe as possible while on the road.