It is estimated that 73% of car seats in use are not installed correctly. Is yours?
Here are five important tips to ensure your car seats are used and installed properly:
- Right Seat. Check the label on your car seat to make sure it's appropriate for your child's age, weight and height. Like milk, your car seat has an expiration date. Just double check the label on your car seat to make sure it is still safe.
- Right Place. Kids are VIPs, just ask them. We know all VIPs ride in the back seat, so keep all children in the back seat until they are big enough to ride without a booster seat.
- Right Direction. You want to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, usually until around age 2. When he or she outgrows the seat, move your child to a forward-facing car seat. Make sure to attach the top tether after you tighten and lock the seat belt or lower anchors.
- Inch Test. Once your car seat is installed, give it a good shake at the base where the seat belt fits. Can you move it more than an inch side to side or front to back? A properly installed seat will not move more than an inch.
- Pinch Test. Make sure the harness is tightly buckled and coming from the correct slots (check car seat manual). Now, with the chest clip placed at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child's shoulder. If you are unable to pinch any excess webbing, you're good to go.
If you still aren't sure, or just want a professionals opinion there are several car seat inspection stations in the Atlanta area. Many of these can be found on the Safe Kids website or try contacting your counties police or fire department to see if they offer car seat inspections. If you are located in Cobb County you may even find a Safe Nest Babyproofing employee volunteering at the Cobb Safety Village. You can even schedule your appointment online!