Car-Seat Safety: Installation and Use
Car-seat safety is important for any parent. Not only do you need to know which seats to select, but also how to install and use them. Believe it or not, 73% of car seats are not used or installed correctly, which can be incredibly dangerous. Read on to see safety tips for car seats, many of which may surprise you.
According to Cars.com, there are a number of mistakes to avoid when it comes to car seats. The first mistake is using a car-seat harness that is too large or small for your child. Follow these guidelines for a proper fit:
- In rear-facing seats, the harness should be at or below shoulder level.
- In a forward-facing seat, the straps should be at or above the shoulder.
- The chest-clip (where the harness is clicked together) should be at armpit level.
- The straps should not be too loose at the shoulders. If you can pinch the straps and create a loop, it’s too loose.
The second mistake most people make is failing to use the proper car-seat tether strap for a forward-facing seat. Always use seat anchors, which can reduce head movement in a crash.
Many parents also move their child out of rear-facing seats before they are ready. Always follow the guidelines on your car seat, even if your child is older than two years old. Rear-facing seats are five times safer for young children.
Finally, remember that car seats can expire. Most seats expire six years from the manufacture date. The major reason to follow this date is because materials can degrade over time. The integrity of plastic and metal in the seat can break down, making them less safe than a new seat. We at Carter Chevrolet want to make sure all that everyone stays safe!