Although child car seats can prevent injuries and save lives, if not installed correctly, they could fail to work effectively and actually may cause harm. Having so many different types available on the market certainly can create confusion for parents and caregivers. So consider the following when it comes to installing your child’s car seat.
Child Car Seat Installation Tips
1. Have a certified technician inspect it.
One of the best ways to ensure correct installation is to visit a child car seat inspection center. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a list of locations throughout New York where a certified technician will inspect the car seat and show how to install it properly (free of charge, in some cases).
2. Read the instruction manual.
Thoroughly read the manual that comes with the child car seat. Not only will it explain how to install the seat correctly, but it will also provide other important information, such as weight limits. It’s important to read the manufacturer’s manual for the vehicle because it may also provide valuable information on the installation of car seats.
3. Check wiggle room.
Make sure straps, harnesses and tethers are neither too loose nor too tight. If they or the seat itself can be moved more than an inch, they aren’t secure enough. The child should be snug, with his or her back and bottom flat against the seat. Use the “finger test” if you’re not sure. There should be enough slack for just one finger to fit (no more than that). Parents should check for recalled car seat notices before purchase.
4. Know the differences between rear-facing and forward-facing seats.
Rear-facing seats must be placed at a certain angle. Most car seats come with adjustors or indicators built in to help. With forward-facing seats, make sure the top tether strap is connected to the anchor to reduce movement of the child’s head in the event of a crash.
The benefits of using a child car seat and using it correctly are innumerable. It is possible, though, that even a knowledgeable parent can use a car seat as instructed and still experience child injury in an accident. In this case, a manufacturer defect may be the culprit. The law firm of Gacovino, Lake & Associates represents injured parties who suffer because of defective products. Call our attorneys today to begin a claim: 800-550-0000.