Category / Uncategorized

Safety Car Seat Tips

By Donna January 26, 2018 Uncategorized

CHOOSING THE RIGHT CAR SEAT FOR YOUR CHILD

General Safety Rules

  1. The back seat is the safest riding area for a child.
  2. When installing a car seat, make sure
    1. Your child is seated appropriately and buckled-in comfortably.
    2. The car seat is secured tightly into your vehicle’s seat.
      Always read your car seat manual as well as your car manual for proper installation instructions.
  3. When in doubt, always refer to your car safety seat manual for proper guidance.
  4. Only buy car safety seats that comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS).

Various car seats exist, each with their own set of characteristics designed for different child specifications. Following, is a list of the diverse car seats together with their proper descriptions. Choose the appropriate car safety seat for your child accordingly.

Rear-Facing Seats

Infants should continue to ride in rear-facing seats until they have fulfilled two requirements: one being they have reached 1 year of age, and the second being they have come to weigh 20 pounds or more. Rear-facing car seats can be divided into two categories, each with their own unique set of features.

  1. Infant-Only Seats:
         Small in size, with a 3-point or 5-point harness.
         Can only be ridden by infants weighing 20 to 22 pounds. 
         (Check model specifications). 
         Most have carrying handles and a detachable base.
  2. Convertible Seats: 
         Fairly larger in size than infant rear-facing seats, thus making it
         ideal for older/larger children. 
         Can be placed facing forward. 
         Can come with one of three harness styles:
         5-point harness, T-shield, Overhead shield.

Often times, a child comes to weigh 20 pounds or more before his/her first birthday. Still, your child is not ready to be placed in a forward-facing seat. Opt for a convertible seat that can be used rear-facing. Rear-Facing Seats Precautions and Suggestions 
1. Do not place a rear-facing seat in the front seat if this has an airbag. 
2. Choosing a car seat with more than one set of harness slots and adjustable shields or buckles provides growing room for your child. Keep in mind, harness slots should be located either at or below your child’s shoulders. 
3. Additional car seat features can assist with proper installation such as a built-in angle adjuster and angle indicator. The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system facilitates installation.

Forward-Facing Seats

When your child has turned 1 year of age and has come to weigh 20 pounds or more, he/she can now ride in a forward-facing car seat if his/her height and weight measurements comply with the specific seat’s requirements. Four types of seats can be used forward-facing including forward-facing only, convertible, booster, and a combination of both forward-facing and booster seats. 

Convertible Seats: 
3 adjustments must be made if you previously positioned your convertible seat towards the rear. 

1. Place the shoulder straps through the slots at or above your child’s shoulders. 
2. Readjust the seat from a reclined to an upright position, if required by model. 
3. The seat belt must run through the forward-facing belt path. 

Booster Seats: 
Your child is ready to use a booster seat if: 
He/she has reached the maximum weight/height designated for the seat. 
His/her shoulders are now above the harness slots. 
His/her ears have reached the top of the seat. 

Booster seats are intended to make your vehicle’s lap/shoulder belt fit correctly over your child, meaning the lap belt lies at and sustains your child’s thighs, and the shoulder strap crosses over your child’s shoulder and middle chest. 

Forward-Facing/Booster Seats: 
Certain car seats combine features of both forward-facing and booster seats. These come with harness straps suitable for children weighing between 40 and 50 pounds. When your child has reached the required height/weight, the seat can be converted into a booster seat by removing the harness straps and securing your child with your automobile’s lap/shoulder belt. 

Using only a lap belt works fine for infant-only, convertible and forward-facing seats. A lap belt is not enough, however, for booster seats. If your vehicle only comes with lap belts, use a forward-facing car seat with a harness or consider using a travel vest.

Seat Belts

Children are usually apt to use seat belts when they are between the ages of 8 and 12, and measure about 4’9” in height. 

Your child must satisfy three requisites before using a seat belt: 
The shoulder belt must cross over his/her shoulder and mid-chest. It should not lie on your child’s neck. The lap belt must fall low across his/her thighs. It should not lay on the stomach. Your child can comfortably sit back in the vehicle’s seat with knees bent and feet hanging. 

%d bloggers like this: