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This post has been sponsored by Cars.com.
Car seats greatly reduce the risks of injury to your child and proper installation and use is imperative. Installation of your car seat can vary from vehicle to vehicle. Using Cars.com’s helpful Car Seat Safety Check, you can quickly get the answers you need for your specific vehicle.
Here’s a screen shot of our specific vehicle’s page on Cars.com’s Car Seat Safety Check!
Six Tips For Installing An Infant Car Seat
Here are a few steps to ensure proper installation of your car seat. I also recommend having your local police or fire station check out your installation!
1. Read the car seat instructions. Yes, it looks simple, but read those instructions. Every car seat is different.
2. Position ALL car seats in the back seat. Never ever ever in the front. Never ever ever.
3. Reference your vehicle’s manual. Check out your owner’s manual for specific instructions for your car.
4. Lock the seat belt. Refer to your owner’s manual to find out how to lock a seat belt once the seat is in place.
5. Secure tightly. Once your car seat is in place, move it side to side, back and forth. It should not move more than 1 inch in any direction.
6. Adjust the recline angle. Most car seats come with an indicator on the side of the seat which is an easy way to make sure your child’s head won’t flop forward in the seat.
Tips For Your Child’s Safety While In The Car Seat
Installing the car seat properly is great, but you must also use place your child in the car seat properly to use the seat to its fullest and safest potential.
1. No bulky layers. Your child will not be cold in their seat. I promise. Bulky layers will cause the straps of your car seat to be too loose and thus ineffective in a crash. Use a light fleece!
2. No slouching! Make sure your child isn’t slouching in his or her car seat. Their backside should be flush against the seat.
3. All about those straps. In addition to the bulky layers, I think one of the most common mistake is improper strap usage. You’ve seen it on social media and it makes you cringe. Make sure the straps have no twists and no knots. Straps should be snug. The chest clip needs to sit at armpit level and the straps coming from the back of the seat should be at or directly below their shoulders.
4. If it didn’t come with the car seat, it hasn’t been tested! Don’t buy anything for your car seat that did not come with the car seat. I’m always surprised to see how much is out there to add to a car seat, but your car seat straight out of the box is exactly how it needs to be used.
5. Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible! Check local laws. We’re still rear facing at two and a half and have no plans to flip anytime soon. It’s 500% safer. For real.
Did you have issues installing your infant car seat? Have you used Cars.com’s Car Seat Safety Check website?
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