Recently, I attended a CPS (Child Passenger Technician) Update Course as part of my re-certification. With car seats changing and improving every year, I, along with all parents, can never learn enough about car seat safety to keep our little ones as safe as possible.
I wanted to take an opportunity to remind parents of a few important tips to remember when installing a car seat.
- If you have any doubt in your ability to install the car seat 100% correctly, please find a car seat safety check or contact your local fire or police station for assistance from a CPS Tech.
- Choose a car seat that fits your child, fits your vehicle and that you can install correctly every time.
- Check the weight and age limits on the car seat to make sure you are putting your little one in the appropriate seat.
- Your infant must be rear-facing until 1 year AND 20 lbs minimum but keeping your baby rear-facing as long as possible is best! Just make sure you check the rear-facing weight limit.
- 5 point harness is best for as long as possible! Many seats go up to 65-80 lbs with the 5 point harness – so make sure you consider these seats.
- Do NOT install your car sat with both LATCH and seat belt! You might think it’s 2x as safe – but it’s not!
- Location for a car seat in the center of the backseat is best, if possible. If you prefer to use LATCH, make sure you check your vehicle manual because less than 13% of vehicles allow for rear center LATCH installation. The vehicle manual must specifically say you can install in the rear center with LATCH.
- Make sure you check your vehicle’s LATCH weight limit. Most cars have a 40-48 lb LATCH weight limit so above that weight you will need to install with the seat belt.
- Remember that if you are installing 2 car seats next to each other that 2 LATCH buckles cannot attach to the same vehicle LATCH anchor.
For more information from the child passenger safety experts visit: SAFE KIDS USA
Click here to find a Safe Kids Seat Check Event in your area.