Car Seat Safety Tips
Nine out of every ten car seats in use in Virginia are installed incorrectly. Car seat installation is one of the most confusing parts in early parenthood.
Car Seat Tips:
- Make sure that the safety seat fits the child, the vehicle, and that will be used correctly every time.
- Check safety seat labels for weight and height limitations.
- Each child safety seat needs a safety belt or LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) to hold it in place.
- The child safety seat must be held tightly against the vehicle seat back. If the safety seat slides around on the vehicle seat, the child may not be protected by the safety seat.
- There should be no more than one inch of side to side or forward movement of the safety seat after installation.
- Harness straps should be on the child’s shoulders-not arms. Keep the straps flat on the child’s shoulders and snug enough to keep the child from moving forward.
- Place the harness retainer clip at armpit level on the child.
- Never put the shoulder belt under the child’s arm or behind the child’s back. This can cause serious internal injuries in a crash.
- To be able to fit in an adult seat belt the child must: be tall enough to sit without slouching, keep his/her back against the vehicle seat back, keep his/her knees completely bent over the edge of the seat, keep his/her feet flat on the floor, and be able to stay comfortably seated this way. The lap belt must fit low and tight across the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt should rest over the center of the shoulder through the center of the chest.