Whether you are about to load up your first baby in the car seat to bring them home from the hospital, or are a parenting pro who has installed many car seats over the years, it’s time to glance at this refresher to make sure your kid is as safe as possible.
Consumer Reports recently released a video version of a cheat sheet on tips to make sure you are installing the seat correctly, and fitting your child properly in case of an accident.
@consumerreports Do you know how to properly install a car seat? Follow these important tips, and discover other expert advice to help keep your most precious cargo safe through the link in our bio. #babytiktok #parentsoftiktok #carseat #carseatsafety ♬ original sound – Consumer Reports
Here’s what to check out:
- Check height and weight limits on the side of the seat, on the seat’s information tag
- Once installed, there shouldn’t be more wiggle room than an inch — rock it a bit and find out!
- Rear-facing seat harness heights should be at or below the shoulders, and forward facing seat harness height should be at or above the shoulders.
- If the harness is secure you shouldn’t be able to pinch the fabric — it should be flat and secure
- Chest clips should rest at armpit level
- Rear-facing seats should be at the proper angle — check the leveling feature many seats have to be sure
- Attach and tighten the top tether strap on forward-facing seats, which often goes behind the seat they are sitting on
While it might seem too picky to be this perfect with installation (one person commented “Why are you returning this seat? Oh it wiggled 1 inch and 1 centimeter it’s faulty”), it matters. Car seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants, and 54% for toddlers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, car crashes are top reasons for death for kids, second only to firearms. So, take a second to double check your seat before rushing out today.