An astonishing 84 percent of car seats aren't installed properly, leaving children unsafe in the event of a car accident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
It's important to ensure your child is properly secured in their car seat to keep them safe. But how do you know if you're installing the seat correctly? The Senior Lifestyle Editor of American Baby magazine offers gave this helpful advice to CBS News on purchasing and installing infant car seats:
- Buy New. A used car seat may be missing parts or was involved in an accident. Old car seats also expire in 6-9 years. If you do purchase a used car seat, call the manufacturer to verify it still works.
- 45 Degree Angle: Put rear-facing car seats at a 45-degree angle. At this angle, the baby's head is supported and its chin won't fall to the check, blocking your baby's airway.
- Snap then Wrap: Cover your baby with blankets or dress him or her warmly if it is cold outside. But, beware bulky snowsuits will be compressed in a crash, and the baby could be ejected from the car if the harness is loosened. Dressing the baby warmly, buckling him or her in, then covering the baby with blankets for warmth is the best advice.
- Center Up: The best, safest location for your baby's car seat is in the center seat. If you have multiple children, any back seat spot is safer than the front.
- Double Check: Use free installation checks performed by certified technicians, such as at a fire or police station. Seatcheck.org can help you find the nearest safety check location.
As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer , I recommend parents consider the above advice when purchasing and installing a car seat to ensure your child's safety. For more information on car safety tips, see the American Baby website.