Tips To Properly Use And Install Car Seats

May 22, 2013

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How to properly install car seats for babiesAs a (soon-to-be) first time-mom, I knew that finding the best car seats for my children was one of the most important parts of preparing for my new babies. But purchasing a safe seat is only half the process, especially for moms with little experience using and installing car seats.

Since there would be no point in having car seats if I wasn’t educated on how to properly use and install them, I scheduled an appointment with Texas Children’s Injury Prevention team to help me with the process.

I learned a great deal during this 1-hour appointment that I did not know beforehand. Some of the most important facts I learned include:

  • Safely install car seatsMy twins will ride rear-facing in the back seat until age 2 or they outgrow their car seat harness.
  • Their car seats are buckled tightly in the car and should not move more than 1 inch when I pull it at the seat belt path.
  • Their harness straps should be at or below their shoulders when rear-facing.
  • My rear-facing car seats should recline at a 30-45 degree angle.
  • The chest clip should always be placed at a child’s arm pit level.
  • I need to avoid using non-regulated products (anything that didn’t come with the seat when purchased). Head pillows, car seat mats and mirrors are all examples of

    non-regulated products. This was especially surprising to me as I had bought a number of things (including a mat to protect my leather seats and infant seat covers) that I ended up returning after learning the dangers these non-regulated items can pose to my babies.

  • My babies’ harnesses will be snug at all times, flat against their shoulders and can’t be pinched at the shoulder when buckled.

To schedule a car seat safety inspection with Texas Children’s Childhood Injury Prevention team, contact Safe Kids Greater Houston.

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