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You are watching: How to properly install a car seat


A 6-week-old infant, still strapped right into his child auto seat, made it through ejection out of one SUV during a rollover crash last week on a California road, providing a chilling reminder the the importance of appropriate car-seat installation.

The SUV crashed near an leave in Turlock, Calif., and also flipped end multiple times. The child was thrown indigenous the vehicle through a broken window and uncovered alongside the road, still in his vehicle seat and reasonably unharmed.

While ejection of restrained occupants is rare, this instance emphasizes the prestige of ideal car-seat installation and also harnessing. Motor automobile injuries space the leading reason of death for youngsters in the U.S. When mounted the right way, car seats have the right to prevent death and also mitigate injuries.

Most chauffeurs who transport children think their automobile or booster chair is mounted correctly (73 percent), however nearly half (45 percent) the the installations room flawed in some way, follow to the 2015 nationwide Child Restraint Use special Study, the latest government research available. All the more reason to discover a certified child passenger security technician or car-seat check station in your area to make sure yours is correct (NHTSA|Safe Kids).

Consumer Reports on regular basis tests child seats in 3 areas: crash protection, lull of use, and ease of environment in miscellaneous vehicles.

To help drivers properly secure their children, we’ve determined some typical mistakes, including those detailed in the study.

Use the slider end the images listed below to uncover out even if it is you too may be inadvertently making mistakes, and learn exactly how to exactly them.

First Steps: car Seat to vehicle Installation

Slide right and left to view what not to do and also what you should be doing once installing a auto seat.

Car-Seat Installation


allow more than 1 inch of movement either forward and earlier and next to side when force is used at the belt path.Do:Regardless of whether you’re using LATCH anchors or the vehicle"s chair belt, the surroundings should have actually less than 1 customs of motion forward and back and next to side as soon as pulled at the belt path. If you installing with the vehicle seat belt, be certain to consult your owner’s hand-operated to learn just how to appropriately lock the chair belt.

Don"tset the recline angle for rear-facing automobile seats incorrectly.

Do: Be sure to monitor the manufacturer"s instructions for setting the recline on her rear-facing seat. A seat that"s too upright can cause an infant’s head to autumn forward and also obstruct his or she breathing. Reclining too far can alleviate the seat’s capacity to safeguard the child in a crash.

Don"tuse a forward-facing belt course for a rear-facing orientation or a rear-facing belt path for a forward-facing orientation.

Do: Consult her car-seat manual and the seat’s labels to make sure you"re utilizing the correct belt path. Confusing the paths could mean the seat isn"t secure or might not execute as the should throughout a crash.

Don"t forget to usage a optimal tether for forward-facing installation.

Do: because that a forward-facing installation, always attach the peak tether whether the chair is installed using the lower anchors or a chair belt. The height tether substantially reduces a seat’s front motion, which deserve to reduce injury to a child, especially a head injury. Study on car-seat misuse through the university of Michigan Transportation research study Institute additionally suggests that to part degree, a height tether use may assist mitigate the impacts of other misuses, such as loose harnessing or loose installation. Peak tethers not only boost safety yet are additionally easy come use.

Slide right and also left to see what not to do and what you need to be doing once securing your kid in a auto seat.

Don"tleave a loose harness that enables too lot movement.

Do:Make the exploit snug enough so that you can not pinch any type of webbing in between your fingers at her child’s shoulders. A loosened harness can cause your kid to move outside the defense of the kid seat during a crash.
Don"t position the harness at the wrong elevation for a rear-facing installation.Do: For rear-facing seats, the harness should be positioned at or slightly below the shoulders.Correct harness placing optimizes the seat"s capability to safeguard in a crash.
position the harness at the wrong elevation for a forward-facing installation.Do:For forward-facing seats, the harness should be readjusted to fit in ~ or slightly over the shoulders. Exactly harness placing optimizes the seat"s capability to defend in a crash.

Don"tposition the chest clip as well high or also low.

Do: place chest clip in ~ armpit level. It"s plan to keep the harness in appropriate position in the occasion of a crash.

Don"tuse nonapproved covers and also cushions.

Do:Use only covers and also cushions that have actually been approved by the car-seat manufacturer because that use with that seat. This items have been crash-tested with your chair to accomplish compliance standards. Together a rule, don"t place added padding between the seat and your kid or between your child and also the harness straps.

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The study also found that the most typical misuse of booster installations to be placing the lap belt high top top the ship or rib cage quite than low across the hips and also upper thighs. If you have actually a booster seat, examine ourcar seat buying guidefor much more information on exactly how to correctly secure your boy in it and also how to decide whether your kid is ready for a vehicle"s chair belt alone.

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