The Basics of Car Seat Safety
Car Seat Safety
Car seat safety is critical to your child’s health and well being. However, making sense of all of the options and necessities can be very confusing. Here is Birth You Desire’s quick guide for you.
The safest car set for your child is one that fits your child, fits your car, and is easy for you to use. The car seat needs to be designed for your child’s height and weight. Over or undersized get the car seat is not safe. The seat needs to fit securely in your car. Consider having a professional installer seatcheck.org verify your seat’s proper placement and anchors. The seat that you use needs to be easy to use so that you use it properly.
What to look for in a car seat
- A 5-point harness: which has straps over the shoulder, hips, and between the legs. Avoid 3-point harnesses.
- Harness adjuster & buckle: the adjuster is used to tighten or loosen the harness a strap is located by the child’s feet (not at their back). The buckle should be easy to use with 1 hand and yet stiff enough that a child cannot unbuckle themselves.
- Chest clip: should be easy to use and yet move enough for adjusting with a winter coat.
- Latch connections: for cars with latch connectors.
- New car seat with all parts and instruction: avoid used car seats due to age (car seats have an expiration date after 6 years), previous poor use, missing parts, and constantly changing recalls. Check for recalls here. Www.safecar.gov
Car seat stages
- Rear-facing is used from birth
- Rear-facing only are used for children 22-40 pounds
- Rear-facing convertible used for 30-50 pounds
- Forward-facing for children over 2 years who weigh over 20 pounds
- Forward combination for children 40-90 pounds with a harness, but can be used as a booster once the child his bigger
- Booster seat with a lap-shoulder belt is for children 10+ years
Before you buy a car seat
It is ideal if you can take the car seat to your car and install it prior to purchasing it. This can avoid costly mistakes. When installing, always follow institutions for both the car and the car seat. Once installed, properly the car seat should not be able to be shifted side-to-side for more than 1 inch.
Note this information is based on the 2016 Child Safety Facts and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
You can also find additional information here: