Top 7 Tips for Hassle-Free Car Seat Installation
To enjoy a safe ride with your child, it’s important to purchase a baby car seat right for his age and weight. However, security does not just stop in buying a child seat. Proper installation must be done to avoid accidents and injuries.
When you buy a booster seat, always ask for a manual or instructional guide. Easy as it seems, it is quite complicated to install a booster seat all by yourself. Try to read the manual and understand the instructions carefully. If you find it confusing, ask the help of experts sine studies show that improper installation of the seats is the number one factor in the death of a child in case the car meets a collision.
For infants, it is a must to install the car set in the rear-facing position. Once your baby reaches two years old, it’s time to use a seat facing the front. Always position the seat at the back specifically in the middle part because it is the safest place for the baby to sit.
The tether system is an innovation for vehicles which are newly-manufactured. There is now the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) System which is made intentionally for the safety seats. It attaches the seat directly to the anchor attached permanently to the car. This is also suitable for seats with a five-point harness since it needs lower anchors to secure the belt. If your car does not have the anchoring system, ask your local auto provider on how to install one.
The angle recline of your child seat must also be considered. Usually, rear-facing car seats have recline angle indicators. The acceptable angle is between 30-45 degrees depending on the instruction of the manufacturer. For infants, a 45 degree angle is recommended. For toddlers, a 30 degree recline angle is more appropriate.
Make sure that the seat is in place and does not move side to side. If the car seta can be tipped forwards or sideways for more than one inch, there is something wrong with the installation. Secure it by unbuckling the seat until a tighter fit is achieved. For smaller kids, a locking clip is also needed to hold the seat belt in place. The locking clip is usually found in a five-point harness system.
The harness system gives additional support to the baby. A harness adjustment lever must be used to tighten or loosen the straps around the baby. To assure that the harness is tight and secure, put your fingers in between the chest and the harness. If it fits comfortable under the straps, then the harness is tight and secure.
The straps must be flat. Once your child is buckled up, pull the straps to make sure that they are placed securely. Sometimes we are too in a hurry to buckle the child and we carelessly leave the straps twisted or unbuckled.
Many parents find trouble in installing a car seat. If this happens, try to enroll in a safety seat installation workshop. It will only take an hour of your time. In return, you get a lifetime safety for your child.