Parents are responsible for their child’s well-being and safety. They must keep their children away from danger regardless of where they are. Ninety percent of parents leaving a hospital with their newborns reportedly use their car seats incorrectly. Parents are required by law to have car seats for their children. Unfortunately, three out of four car seats are misused.

But why are car seats so important? Well, using a car seat is the best way to protect your kids in case a car crash occurs. Car seats have been proven to save lives, which is why it is mandatory in every U.S. state for every parent to have a child safety seat installed in their vehicle.

A lot of new parents often get confused about how to install car seats for their children properly. Here are some basic car seat safety tips that every parent must know.

Kids Must Always Be Seated at the Back

All the children must be kept in the vehicle’s back seat until they are at least 13years old. By doing this, you are keeping your child safe from the most common type of impact if a car accident occurs. You are also protecting them from being inside the airbag deployment zone.

Now that we have that established, how can parents choose the right car seat for their children? Well, first of all, you must check if the car seat meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.

There are different types of car seats designed according to the age of your child. Here’s a general guide for the types of car seats you can choose from.

Rear-facing only / Rear-facing convertible

This car seat is designed for infants and toddlers. All infants and toddlers must use a rear-facing car seat until they reach the highest weight and height limit by their car seat manufacturer.

Some manufacturers have rear-facing car seats that children can use for up to two years or more.

Forward-facing car seat convertible / Forward-facing with harness

Toddlers and preschoolers typically use this type of car seat. If your child has outgrown rear-facing car seats, then it’s time to buy them a forward-facing one. The majority of these forward-facing car seats can accommodate children weighing up to 65 pounds.

Booster

Boosters are used by school-aged children, typically aged 8 – 12 years old. This type of car seat is also known as a belt-positioning booster seat.

Seat belts

When your child outgrows the booster seat, seat belts may already be enough for them as long as it fits them correctly. A lap and shoulder seat belt is the best for protection. All children below 13 years old must ride in the back seat.

If you are having trouble installing your child’s car seat, then here are some helpful tips you can follow.

If the car seat keeps wiggling more than one inch on both sides, the car seat may be improperly installed.

The cause of this problem usually stems from a twisted seatbelt, or you may have put it through the wrong belt path. Make sure that you double-check and see if you also pulled the belt tight enough.

Do the shoulder harness pinch test.

If you pinch the shoulder harness with your thumb and forefinger and detect a slack, it needs to be tightened. Your child may cry, but this is for their safety.

Do not make your kids wear a puffy coat when riding a car.

Making your child wear a puff winter coat and strapping them into a car seat is not a good idea. In fact, it’s pretty dangerous. If they feel cold, you can put a blanket over the belt, do not put anything underneath the seat belt on the car seat.

Buckle the top tether

The purpose of the top tether in your vehicle is to prevent the forward-facing car seat from moving forward in case of an accident. Check your vehicle if it has it. Every car sold after 2001 has three anchor points, and the tether is a part of it.

Ask a car seat technician for help if you’re having trouble installing your child’s car seat.

Some parents often mistake asking firefighters to install their car seats for them when they aren’t that experienced with it. Unless the firefighter you’re asking is certified to install a car seat, then it might not be that big of a help.

If you need assistance installing your child’s car seat, you should look for a certified car seat technician to do a safety check. These experts know how to install one properly and how to keep your child safe with it.

Have you been involved in a serious car accident? You should seek the assistance of experienced auto accident lawyers.