Nearly 4 out 5 car seats put infants’ lives at risk due to being improperly installed. Read on to make sure your infant’s forward-facing seat is safe & secure.

Forward-Facing Car Seats Rely on Your Proper Installation

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Every year infants and children are needlessly injured—sometimes fatally—as a result of being poorly restrained during a car accident. In 2013, 638 children under the age of 12 were killed in car collisions while 127,250 children were seriously injured. According to the Centers for Disease Control, properly used car seats could have reduced these injuries by over 50% for toddlers and up to 70% for infants.

Car seats are specifically designed to cradle your child and secure him against impact forces created by a car accident. Depending on your child’s size and age, specific car seats are recommended for optimum safety. These seats include:

  • Backward-facing seats
  • Forward-facing seats
  • Booster seats

Each one of these restraint systems allows you to position your child in a car without fear that he’ll be thrown from his seat. However, safety depends on the seat’s proper installation, which can be quite confusing, especially for the forward-facing models.

Forward-Facing Installation Tips

Although you should always refer to users’ manuals for setup instructions, here are a few tips to remember when installing your forward-facing infant seat.

  • LATCH. All vehicles made after 2002 have mandated LATCH anchors to help install car seats more easily and securely. For forward-facing seats, the two lower anchors should be used as well as the upper tether anchor.  Check your owner’s manual to find out where the tether anchors are located in your car.
  • Fit. When installing the seat, you need to remember that tighter is better. The safety seat shouldn’t wobble or jiggle and the harness should fit snuggly against your child.
  • Straps. The placement of the straps is extremely important, especially if you’re using a convertible car seat. In forward-facing systems, the shoulder straps should begin at or above the child’s shoulders. Rear-facing seats require them to be at or below the shoulders.
  • Adjust. Some car seats may require you to adjust the angle of the seat in order to create a comfier recline for your child. Again, refer to the owner’s manual for specifics.

For more information on car safety, feel free to browse other articles in our extensive library.

Category: Car Accidents


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