How Should A Baby Be Strapped In A Car Seat?

When it comes to car travel, it`s essential to be certain that your baby is safe. It`s probably clear for everyone that your little one needs to have a baby car seat. But how do we install it and what`s the safest location of the baby seat in the car? We`ll try to answer these questions and offer some safety tips in the following article.

How Should A Baby Be Strapped In A Car Seat

Table of Contents

What Do Studies Say?

A recent study has proved that when it comes to children under 3 years old sitting in the center of the back seat, the risk of injury in case of an accident drops by 50% compared to any of the other 2 side seats.

According to Michael Kallan from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the center of the back seat is used more rarely by children strapped in belts while they grow. Children placed in the center of the back seat have 43% less chances of injuring themselves than children positioned in either one of the side seats.

Experts claim that the recommendations of safety system manufacturers indicate the center of the back seat if they are able to purchase a car seat system. However, these particular recommendations are based on research and studies performed more than a decade ago.

How Should a Baby Be Strapped in a Car Seat?

Installing a car seat is more difficult than you may think. Even after reading the instructions carefully, you may encounter issues. Experts recommend treating this particular subject with the utmost responsibility, as in the end we are talking about the safety of your child.

According to a study, it seems that 3 out of 4 baby car seats aren`t installed properly, so it`s only obvious why you have to improve your knowledge about the troubles you may find on the way when installing your little one`s car seat.

Position in the Car & Orientation of the Car Seat

  • Your baby car seat needs to be positioned rearward in the direction of your travel and always positioned on center back seat.
  • Try to position the car seat with the back towards the direction of travel as far as possible. Experts recommend this until the child reaches 2 years or until he reaches a height and weight limit recommended for that car seat.
  • When the child grows, he can use safety belts and lifts.
  • Until reaching 12 years, children aren`t allowed to stay on the front seat.

Tips for a Proper Installation

  • Read the manual with the instructions of the car seat. If they aren`t clear enough or for some reason you don`t understand something, get in touch with the seat`s manufacturer or importer.
  • Use the ISOFIX system. If your car is equipped with this particular system, buy car seat with such a system included and benefit of all its advantages.
  • If you a car seat with the back towards the direction of travel, be certain it`s positioned as close to the bench as possible. The same thing applies for the car seats facing the direction of travel. For the car travel to be as best positioned, press the seat`s base as much as possible, so that all the air from the pillow will come out.
  • When using a car seat without an ISOFIX system, check that all the belts of the car will pass through all the gripping points of the car seat and tighten the belt as much as possible, so that it cannot slip. The car seat shouldn`t be able to move more than 2.5 cm towards the front, back or aside.
  • In case you notice that any of the fastener restraints are missing, get in touch with the shop or manufacturer where you bought the car seat. If you aren`t able to install it, you should ask for help from someone who already went through this process.

Mistakes Made when Installing the Car Seat

Improper Fixation of Seat Belts

You have to read the car seat`s instruction carefully to find out what kind of seat belts it has. Always check before leaving if your little one is fastened to the seat belt in a securely manner. – Click this link!

Ignoring the Product`s Instructions

One of the most important mistakes made by parents is that they are guided in installing the car seat by following what other people say or by instinct, ignoring the guidelines that come with the product. Each and every car seat has its own specifications. It`s recommended that you go through these instructions before installing it and make sure nothing slips and the baby is safe while traveling.

Improper Car Seat Installation

As already mentioned, when installing a baby car seat, it must not move towards the front, back or laterally more than 2 – 3 cm. You can check this by grabbing it with both your hands and pull it off. This represents the safest way to check if the car seat is fitted correctly and to also be certain that in case of an accident, there`s no risk whatsoever for the little one to slip away from his seat.

You probably already understand why it`s vital for your baby`s car seat to be properly installed. If you need more guidance regarding how to install your little one`s car seat, make certain to find out everything you need to know first before attempting to install it.

Belts from the Harness Are Misplaced

When the little one stands on his back, the devices where the straps are fixed need to be positioned somewhere near his shoulder or right below the shoulder. When sitting on his buttocks, in the walking position, the belts need to be inserted into the slots positioned above (unless the car seat`s instructions say otherwise).

If these straps aren`t attached firmly, then they may slide easily over the little one`s shoulders and he may risk to be catapulted from his chair.

The Harnesses Are Too Large

Each baby car seat is equipped with special harnesses or belts, so that the child doesn`t fall out of the seat and be transported with the car in a safely manner.

Sometimes, parents make the mistake of leaving these harnesses larger than they should be, of fear for the baby not to be uncomfortable in them or too tight. – Learn about this!

To check that the harnesses are sufficiently tight around the little one, try to grab the harnesses with your fingers after fixing them. If you can easily place your thumb and index finger between them, there aren`t tight enough! They shouldn`t allow you to place your fingers too easily.

Improper Fixation of the Straps

Besides the fact that the belts or straps of the harness need to be tightened well enough, it`s also recommended for them to be properly fixed.

Make sure that the fasteners in which the straps are caught are positioned somewhere around the axles, a bit above the little one`s chest. If the supports aren`t aligned properly, the straps may slip away and the baby is no longer protected, and a crash or stronger brake may catapult the baby from his seat.

Other Recommendations

  • Don`t change the baby`s car seat or the car`s belt in order to make them fit together.
  • If you install a car seat on the right-front seat, be certain it`s positioned as far back as possible. Therefore, the car seat will be located further from the car`s board, leading to a lower risk of injury in case of an accident.
  • If you are used to take the baby`s cat seat out of the car, make sure you`ll reinstall it correctly each time. If the car seat stays in the car all the time, check it from time to time if it`s fixed properly.
  • Children need to be educated to stay quiet and peaceful in the car and follow a set of rules imposed by you that at any point may save lives.
Image courtesy of parents.com

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