Your child’s safety is important to us. Here are nine common car seat mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them and keep your baby safe.
1. Do not purchase a used car seat without doing your research.
If you are considering a used car seat, make sure that it…
- Comes with instructions, the manufacture date, and model number
- Has not been recalled
- Is not expired/more than 6 years old
- Has no damage or missing parts
- Has never been in a moderate to severe collision
2. Make sure you place the car seat correctly.
The safest place for your child is the back middle seat. This seat will keep your child furthest away from any impact or airbags in the event of a collision.
3. Make sure the seat is correctly installed and your child is buckled correctly.
Make sure you read all instructions when installing the car seat.
4. Recline your child at the correct angle.
Recline the sear according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep your child’s head at the correct angle. Keep in mind that you may have to adjust the incline as your child grows.
5. Do not move your child to forward facing too soon.
Make sure that your child reaches the height and/or weight limit before you face the seat forward.
6. Remove your child’s heavy outerwear.
Heavy outerwear can prevent harness straps from fitting correctly. Place your child in the car seat, buckle them up, then place a jacket or blanket over them to keep them warm.
7. Do not move your child to a booster seat too soon.
To move your child into a booster seat, the adult seat belt must fit correctly. Remember, your child is safest remaining in a car seat with a harness for as long as possible.
8. Use booster seat correctly.
Booster seats should always be used with a lap and shoulder belt, never a lap-only belt.
9. Do not move to a regular adult seat too soon.
Children can safely move to an adult seat sometime between the ages of 8 and 12. Here is how you will know that your child is ready for this step:
- Your child is at least 4’9”
- When your child sits against the back of the seat, his/her knees are bent comfortably at the edge
- The seat belt lies low across the child’s thighs and the shoulder belt rests on the middle of the shoulder