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You are here: Home > Baby > Baby Safety

How to Secure Your Baby In the Car Seat?

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According to a study performed by the National Safe Kids Campaign,one in five people are using car seats incorrectly.

On average, the study found that there were two problems with each seat: The most common errors were associated with the safety belts, the harness straps, placement of the seat, and non use: 63% Safety belts are not holding the seat tightly 33% Harness straps not snug 20% Harness straps not routed correctly 19% Harness retainer clip not at armpit level 17% Locking clip not used correctly (prevalent in car models before 1992) 11% Safety belt not in locked mode (prevalent in car models before 1992) 11% Children turned forward-facing before reaching one year of age and 20 pounds 9% Car seat recalled and not repaired

Which Car Seat is right for your child?

Use a rear-facing seat until your baby is both one year old and 20 pounds in weight. If the car were in a crash, a baby under the age of one who weighs more than 20 pounds needs the neck support of a rear-facing seat.

Use a forward-facing seat when your child is one year or older and weighs between 20 and 40 pounds.

Children should be placed in a booster seat at 40 pounds (this is around four to eight years old). Kids of this size are too small to fit correctly in adult safety belts alone. What's more, a booster seat makes lap and shoulder belts fit correctly.

The Car seat should not move more than one inch in any direction once attached to the car with the safety belt. It is to be secured tightly.

One finger should fit between harness straps and child's collarbone. The harness straps have to fit snugly or they will not keep the child in the seat in the event of a crash.

Harness straps need to be correctly routed through the back of the car seats. In rear-facing seats, harness straps should be routed in lower slots at or below shoulder level. In forward-facing seats, harness straps should be routed in upper slots at or above shoulder level.

The harness retainer clip should be at armpit level. If the clip between the harness straps is too low, in the event of a crash, the child may slip out of the car seat.

Remember These Important Safety Tips

Properly restrain your child on every ride. Read car seat instructions and your vehicle owners manual to make sure the seat is used and secured properly. Always use age and size appropriate child safety restraints.

For More Information about the study and car seat safety, please visit The National Safe Kids Campaign at safekids.org.

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