Follow these Child Car Seat Guidelines
With hundreds of car seat models and dozens of seat belt configurations and anchor systems, many parents are confused about how to correctly use car or booster seats. Safe Kids East Central can help. Begin by carefully reading and following your child safety seat instruction booklet and the section on child safety seats in your vehicle owner’s manual, then follow these guidelines:
- Use a rear-facing car seat until your child reaches a minimum of one year of age and 20 pounds. Safety organizations recommend keeping your child facing rear for as long as possible.
- When installed in the vehicle, the car seat should not move more then one inch side-to-side or front-to-back when you test it at the path of the seat belt.
- Have your child sit all the way back in the car seat.
- Make sure the harness straps are snug. You should not be unable to pinch excess strap material with your fingers.
- Position the retainer clip (the sliding adjuster on the front of the harness) at armpit level.
- Avoid bulky clothing and coats that prevent a snug harness fit. Place a blanket over young children. Help older children put their coats on backwards after you have adjusted the harness.
- Keep your children in a car seat until they are at least four years old and weigh 40 pounds. At that point, they can begin using booster seats.
To learn more, attend our child safety seat class or have a child safety seat inspection, a FREE service provided by Safe Kids East Central.