As a parent, the most important thing in the world is keeping your child safe.
Thanks to companies creating devices and equipment which increases children’s safety, we can relax knowing that our family is safe. Right? Well, research shows that not all parents properly install their child’s car seats. In this article, we want to promote a proper car seat installation. Let’s take a look.
A Bit About Car Seat Installation
What is the Safest Place to Install a Car Seat?
Before we talk about car seat installation, let’s first address the safest place and position to install it. Fitting a rear-facing car seat to a front passenger seat for a baby under 12 months can be extremely dangerous. If you’re involved in an accident, the airbag could inflate and force against the back of the baby’s seat. To avoid this, you should disable the airbag. Some cars have sensors which automatically deactivate your airbag if a child seat is detected. However, always ensure you reactivate it before a passenger enters the car.
On the other hand, forward-facing seats are suitable for front passenger seats. However, it’s still safer to install them in the back of the car. The safest place for both of these car seats is in the middle of the back seat. If you need to fit the car seat to a side seat, think carefully about how you park your vehicle. For example, think about opening the car door and opening the passenger door into traffic flow.
Finally, iSize car seats were introduced in 2013 to increase safety standards. We expect that these will become compulsory for babies over the next coming years. These can carry children rear facing until they are 15 months old. However, these should never be fitted to a front passenger seat in the rear-facing position unless the airbag is deactivated.
Why is it Important to Properly Install a Car Seat?
Car seat installation should be taken seriously, because when conducted properly, it can save lives. There are more cars on the road than ever before, and research shows that drivers travel faster than ever before. A child’s body is made of soft cartilage which will eventually turn into bone. As a result, this makes them more vulnerable to injuries in the event of a crash. In particular, their organs aren’t as well-protected as adults are.
How to Perform a Car Seat Installation
Now that you're aware of the importance of properly installing a car seat, it's time to share some tips for this task. Read along as you install to ensure the safety of your most precious cargo.
Step 1: Pass the Seatbelt Through
Ensure the seatbelt passes through the correct guides on the child’s seat. It must go through the blue guides if it’s a rearward-facing seat. Also, it must go through the red guides if it’s a forward-facing seat. Although, some seats offer alternative routing if the belt is too short to locate around the main route.
Step 2: Tighten the Belt
Next, you want to push your weight into the child seat as you tighten the belt. This is to make sure the child seat is securely held. At this stage, there shouldn’t be any slack in the seat belt. If there is, continue to tighten the belt to reduce movement.
Step 3: Lock-off Device
When carefully considering car seat installation, refer to the car seat’s handbook. Many seats have a lock-off device. This prevents the seat belt from slipping once it’s been tightened. Make sure this is in the lock position, if applicable.
Step 4: Car Seat Position
Make sure the child seat rests firmly on the car seat, with hardly any forwards or sideways moment. Next, check that the seatbelt buckle isn’t resting on the child seat frame.
Step 5: Installing a Booster Seat
If you choose a booster seat, you’ll need your child to remain in the seat before you properly secure in. Bring the seatbelt down across your child’s body like you would with your own seatbelt. However, ensure that the lowest part of the seatbelt results on your child’s thighs. Also, the upper part needs to rest on your child’s chest.
Child Car Seats Worth Splashing Out On
Now that you’re comfortable with the most basic rules on car seat installation, we’d like to share our best selections of child car seats. These are all made from high-quality resources and perfectly complement any car interior.
1. Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat
The 3-in-1 Grow and Go car seat will give your child a safer and more comfortable ride. Featuring extended use at each stage, this convertible car seat is designed to last through all your firsts with your child. The rear-facing feature is perfect for new-borns to growing toddles. It can be used in this position from 5-40 pounds. Alternatively, for children weighing up to 65 pounds, the forward-facing mode protects your child in the harness feature. When your child is ready to use the vehicle seat belts, remove the harness to use the Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat in belt-positioning booster mode. This is suitable for up to 100 pounds.
As your tiny baby grows into a big kid, messes are bound to happen. However, the Grow and Go car seat pad makes cleaning up easy. Machine washable and dryer safe, it is also designed to come off the seat easily, with no need to remove the harness. In both rear-facing and forward-facing mode, the harness holders keep the harness in an open position. This makes it easier for you to get your child in and out of the car seat. As a result, you don’t have to fish for the harness and clips from behind your child. The Grow and Go is designed to provide more comfort to parents too. It takes up less room when placed rear-facing, giving up to 7 inches more leg room for parents in the front seat.
2. Graco Atlas Harness Booster Seat
For the safest car seat installation, you need a high-quality child seat. Safety is the number one priority when choosing car seats for your little one. Graco has gone the extra mile to keep your child safe and you feeling secure. The Atlas 65 3-in-1 harness booster boasts numerous safety features. This 2-in-1 harness booster helps keep your child secure in a 5-point harness, from 22-65 pounds and from 27 to 49 inches. Growing with your child, the forward -facing car seat converts to a belt-positioning booster car seat from 30-100 pounds and 38 to 57 inches. As a result, it’s like having 2 car seats, in 1.
Parents love the design of Graco car seats. Several key features make this harnessed booster a parent’s ally. For example, it’s easy to remove washable seat cover. There’s no rethreading of the harness straps needed or fuss free harness storage. Hold the buckle out of the way for easy in and out, and open-loop belt guides that allow your independent child buckle themselves. This ensures that the vehicle seat belt is positioned properly in the high back booster mode. Seat pad, harness, and buckle covers are conveniently machine-washable for when spills and accidents happen.
The Atlas 65 has an extended 5-point harness. It fits children up to 65 pounds to keep them harnessed even longer. This is in keeping with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that forward-facing children should use a 5-point harness for as long as possible. Also, the Simply Safe Adjust harness system adjusts the height of your harness and headrest, to ensure that your child is always properly secured. The 10-position headrest makes it easy to give your growing child a proper fit, for optimal safety. This can be easily adjusted with one hand.
3. Evenflo Chase Harnessed Booster
This is an award-winning car seat for children 22-110lbs. This booster converts from a harness booster seat to a belt positioning booster seat. The extended use converts from 5-point harness to vehicle seat belt use as child grows. You can easily adjust the 5-point harness from the front of the car seat. As a result, this makes it easier to get your child in and out. The belt-positing paths guide the vehicle belt to offer an accurate, safe fit. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about not knowing what you’re doing.
This car seat has undergone serious testing to meet the car safety requirements. As a result, it exceeds all applicable federal safety standards and Evenflo’s side impact standards. Designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately 2X the federal crash test standard. For almost a century, Evenflo has been a leader in safety, innovation and education. The Evenflo Chase LX adheres to that mission in providing a convertible car seat that combines safety, comfort and ease for the ultimate value in child restraints. Do not use this restraint in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an air bag.
Your child will also appreciate that the integrated cup holders to keep their snacks and drinks secure. The soft, machine washable seat pad allows for easy cleanup of any messes. The lightweight design comes equipped with an easy to use latch system, including tether, for easy installation and movement between multiple vehicles. The Evenflo Chase LX 2-in-1 Harness Booster seats for infants and toddlers is designed, engineered, tested, molded and assembled in the United States.
4. Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Combination Booster Car Seat
The Cosco Finale DX 2-in-1 Booster Car Seat may be the last car seat you will ever need. It features extended use in both of its two modes. It starts by keeping kids securely in a 5-point safety harness all the way up to 65 pounds. In its second mode, as a belt-positioning booster, it has them covered up to 100 pounds. In both modes, the deluxe fabric gives kids a comfy ride. Also, it easily fits 3 across in the back seat of most vehicles making it a smart choice for growing families with multiple kids in car seats at once.
Thanks to the easy-to-clean car seat pad, there’s no need to stress. The pad removes from the seat and is both machine washable and dryer safe, so a thorough wash is just a machine cycle away. Also, the Finale DX 2-in-1 features extended use in both of its two modes. It easily converts from a 5-point safety harness to a belt-positioning booster as the child grows.
This is a perfect car seat for growing families and carpools. As this seat is lightweight, it’s easy to move from car to car. Three of these car seats are designed to fit side-by-side across the back seat of most vehicles. Finally, for more than 70 years, Cosco has been a leading children’s products brand recognized for its dedication to safety and value. From bouncers to car seats, swings to strollers, and high chairs to play yards, Cosco's essential baby products feature solid value and smart design.
5. Britax Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat
Lastly, if you’re looking for the best car seat installation, this is a great seat to choose. You’ll receive superior protection and peace of mind with this seat. Just open the front of the car seat, buckle the seat belt across and click the seat shut. That’s all you need to do for rock-solid installation. The seat won’t budge and you can travel worry-free with your child. SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components available only with Britax car seats. These features include a steel frame, energy-absorbing base and impact-absorbing tether with staged-release stitches that slow and reduce forward movement during a crash.
The deep energy-absorbing shell shields your child from side impacts. Also, the ClickTight Installation System makes correctly securing the car seat as simple as buckling a seat belt. With one click, you know you’ve accurately installed the seat. This car seat offers ultimate protection and comfort. The easy-adjust 14-position harness grows along with your child. Fitting your child in the seat is a breeze. Simply change the height with a push of a button. Finally, this is probably one of the best car seats to choose if you’re not experienced with cars. Get peace of mind in knowing that your child is safe in every car drive.
Do You Have Any Tips on Car Seat Installation?
After carefully considering which car seat to purchase, we hope that you spend as much time installing it. A car seat can only keep you as safe as it’s installed, so ensure that you correctly follow the instructions provided with the seat.
Now that you’ve read our tips, we’d love to hear what advice you have to give. Leave your safety tips and feedback in the comments to promote care safety.
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