Car Seat Safety Guide
Text (plain form):
Car Seat Safety: What Matters
Car seats are the first line of defense when protecting a child on the road. However, all car seats are not created equally. Use the simple guidelines below in selecting a safe car seat for your loved ones.
by Angelina Umstead & Janelle Valore
- AGE MATTERS!
All children under the age of 13 should ride in the back seat of the vehicle. Children ages 0-2 should ride in a rear-facing car seat. Children ages 2-4 should ride in a front-facing car seat while using the top tether. Children ages 4-8 should ride in a booster seat and depending on height/weight requirements of the car seat manufacturer, should also have a five point harness.
- SIZE MATTERS!
Be sure to check the labels on your car seat to ensure you have the proper seat for your child’s age, weight, and height.
- SAFETY HARNESS MATTERS!
You should make sure the harness is tightly buckled and in the correct position. The chest clip should be at armpit level and should be tight enough that you cannot pinch any excess webbing. Do not place any bulky sweaters and/or jackets on your child while in the car seat. Your child should be in a light layer of clothing when buckled to ensure proper harness tightness.
- LABELS MATTER!
Be sure to check your car seat expiration date to be sure it is still safe. Do not borrow, buy or sell used or expired car seats.
- LATCH MATTERS!
Be sure to read your car manual to determine whether or not your car is equipped with LATCH, and to learn about the requirements of using LATCH.
- PLACEMENT MATTERS!
The rear, center seat is the safest location for a car seat for children of all ages.
- INSTALLATION MATTERS!
Be sure to follow the instruction manual on the proper way to install your car seat in your vehicle. Once it is installed, you should not be able to move it from side to side or back and forth more than an inch. To ensure proper installation, have a trained car seat technician check and/or install your car seat. Contact your local police department and they can direct you to a car seat technician.
- REPLACEMENT MATTERS!
If you are in a motor vehicle accident, it is imperative that you replace your car seat. Most insurance companies replace a car seat with no questions asked.
- FLUFF MATTERS!
Be sure not to use any after-market products in, or around, your car seat as these products were never crash tested with your car seat.
Research for this infographic was performed by Atlee Hall, LLP