Whoever thought it is easy to install an infant car seat, think again. You might think that the instruction manual will provide step-by-step instructions which are easy to follow. Practically speaking, there are several factors that you need to consider while installing the seat. In fact the National safety association (for highway safety) has determined that almost 3 out of five seats are improperly installed. The research is indeed alarming and if you ,as a parent, are concerned about the seat safety, then do read this guide.

Remember that car seats for infants are always rear facing, and experts recommend that this should be so for as long as possible. What this means is that when the child reaches the maximum limits of weight and height restrictions for rear facing seats, till then it should be placed in the rear facing seat. Many people fail to follow the fact that the middle part of the rear seat of the vehicle is the safest and the ideal place for the seat. Once the child crosses the limits of rear facing seat, then he/she can sit facing forward. In spite of this, the middle part of the vehicle’s rear seat is the best place for the child as far as safety is concerned.

The second factor to consider while installing the seats for infants is the instruction manual for the seat along with the vehicle’s manual. In fact, if you do not have the manuals, you can also call the toll free numbers that most car seats have printed on them. The internet is also useful in giving the phone numbers for car seats of various brands.

Most cars manufactured post 2002, have the LATCH system for seat safety. This stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. Using the LATACH system, you no longer need to rely only on the seat belts for attaching the child’s car seat as the LATCH option provides you with a more permanent and secure attachment system. You can even consider getting the LATCH system for your vehicle in case it does not have one.

For forward facing child car seats, the seat should be fixed flat against the bottom and the rear of the vehicle’s seat. There is an angle of recline that is recommended for both front and rear facing seats and this is mentioned in the manuals. You can push the seat with your hand or knees and use your weight to remove the gap, if any, left under the seat.

For cars not having the LATCH system, you need to make sure that the belts are threaded correctly through the slots. The belt should not slack and should be pulled as tightly as possible. In fact, the recommended instructions are that the seat should not be able to move more than an inch in either direction: forward, backward and sideways.

You can even use locking clips to ensure that the seat belts are held in place firmly. These locking clips are available in most children’s stores. After the installation is over, you need to check if the seat resists forward, backward and sideways motions. If it does, then you may need to reinstall the car seat.

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