Car Seat Installation
Car Seat Installation
According to a recent study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least three out of every four car seats in the United States is installed incorrectly. These improper installations pose huge risks to not only the children restrained in them, but also the other inhabitants of the car during a vehicle collision.
Continue reading below to learn more on car seat installation, risks of improperly installed car seats, and how to get your car seat installation checked by a certified professional in your area!
Risks of Improperly Installed Car Seats
Car seats are incredibly difficult to install correctly. Even well-educated parents who have read over the instruction manual many times have still failed to properly secure and install their child’s car seat. The main problem is that these car seats use various latch systems and positioning systems that have to be set perfect for them to be correct. If they are not perfectly installed, then the dangers can be amplified greatly.
Improperly installed child safety seats can:
- Become projectiles in the event of a vehicle collision
- Come loose and seriously injure a child
- Allow the child to become tangled in the straps
- Fail to adequately protect the child’s head and side in the event of a collision
- Potentially kill the child, and others in the vehicle in the event of a collision
Proper Car Seat Installation
Unfortunately installing any child car seat is no easy feat. While some may be easy, such as a backless booster seat that simply snaps into the back seat, others are massively difficult and complex requiring more than two people to attempt to properly put it in. In these cases, it is understandable that parents are frustrated and overwhelmed.
How can one possibly hope to get the car seat installed correctly if there are literally millions of parents out there who are driving around with it installed wrong?
- Read the manual – while it is impossible to give any set of instructions that will be the same for all car seats, the best thing you can do to begin installing your child’s car seat correctly is to read the manual. The car seat manual will tell you exactly how to install your particular model using either the lower anchors for the LATCH system, or simply using the seat belt. Pay very close attention to the various angles, settings, and attachments that your manual shows you to ensure a greater chance of a correct installation.
- Placement – car seats should always be placed in the back seat. This is to ensure that the air bag does not injure the child while still ensuring that the child is further protected from impact and injury with the additional padding of the seat.
- Secure the seat – following the instruction manual, begin to secure your child’s car seat correctly to your vehicle. Always make sure that you drive with the car seat secured, even if there is no child in it. A loose car seat can become a dangerous projectile if left unsecured.
- Anchor – if you are using a forward facing car seat that has a top tether strap, make sure you connect it securely and tighten it. This ensures that the head of the child is limited during a car accident and helps prevent additional injury during an accident.
- Angle – if your car seat needs to be installed at a specific angle, make sure you follow the instructions on how to achieve this. The angles are there for a reason and are an additional safety feature that works to protect your child.
Car Seat Inspection Stations
Since statistics dictate that 3 out of 4 car seats are installed incorrectly, it is in a parent’s best interest to go to a nearby inspection station to ensure that their car seat is correct. There are hundreds of inspection stations across the United States that work to help parents understand how to properly install car seats in the future to keep their children safe.
If you are looking to find a nearby inspection station, check out below to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a child car seat inspection station finder:
Child Car Seat Inspection Station Locator: www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/childps/CPSFitting