As a parent, one of your top priorities is keeping your child safe. That’s why it’s so important to properly install and use a child car seat. A properly installed car seat can reduce the risk of injury or death in a crash by up to 70%.
Here are some tips for installing and using a child car seat:
- Start with the rear-facing seat. Children should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height limit allowed by their car seat. This is because rear-facing seats provide more protection in a crash.
- Use the LATCH system if your car has it. The LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a safer way to install a car seat than using the seat belt.
- Make sure the car seat is installed tightly. You should not be able to move the car seat more than an inch side to side or front to back.
- Adjust the harness straps so they are snug but not too tight. You should not be able to pinch any slack in the straps.
- The chest clip should be at armpit level. The chest clip helps to keep the harness in place in the event of a crash.
- Never use a car seat that is expired or damaged.
It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing and using your child car seat. You can get help installing your car seat from a certified child passenger safety technician.
Here are some additional tips for using a child car seat:
- Never place a car seat in the front seat if there is an airbag. Airbags can deploy with great force and injure or kill a child.
- Do not use a car seat that is facing forward until your child is at least 2 years old and weighs at least 20 pounds.
- Keep your child in a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall and weigh at least 80 pounds.
- Never leave your child unattended in a car, even for a few minutes.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your child safe in the car.
If you have any questions about child car seat safety, please consult your child’s doctor or a certified child passenger safety technician.
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