What Should I Know About Car Seat Installation?

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One of the most effective ways to protect your children when they are in the car is to make sure that they are properly secured in an age and weight-appropriate car seat. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in children but using a car seat can help prevent serious injuries and fatalities caused by car accidents. Purchasing the correct car seat for the age and weight of the child is the first step. Making sure that the seat is installed correctly is crucial and can help prevent devastating injuries and fatalities. Consumer Reports identified several common mistakes parents and caregivers make, and recommendations on how to avoid them.

Installing a Car Seat into the Vehicle

If the car seat you are installing has a LATCH system, or simply uses the vehicle’s seat belt, it is important that you install the seat properly. The following tips will help avoid making some common mistakes:

  • Make sure that you have less than an inch of movement in either direction when you pull the seat at the belt path. If you are using the seat belt to secure the car seat, refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on how to properly lock the seat belt.
  • Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for setting the appropriate recline for rear-facing seats. If the seat is too upright, an infant’s head can fall forward, causing breathing difficulties. If the seat is reclined too far, the car seat will be less effective at protecting the child in the event of an accident.
  • Use the appropriate belt path based on the direction that the seat faces. Check the car seat manual to make sure that you are using the correct belt path.
  • Always attach the top tether for forward-facing seats that are installed using seat belts or lower anchors.

Safely Securing Your Child in the Car Seat

When buckling your child into the car seat, keep the following tips in mind:

  • The seat belt harness should be tight enough so that you cannot pinch any webbing between your fingers and your child’s shoulders. If the harness is too loose, the seat belt may not adequately protect your child from the impact of an accident.
  • Harnesses for rear-facing seats should be positioned slightly below the shoulders. This is also true for forward-facing seats. This can ensure the effectiveness of the seat’s ability to keep your child safe in the event of an accident.
  • The car seat’s chest clip should be positioned at armpit level so that it can keep the harness in the proper position.
  • Only use covers and cushions that meet compliance standards and are approved by the car seat manufacturer.

Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent All Car Accident Victims

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a car accident, contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Knowing how to properly install your child’s car seat will protect them in the event of a serious car accident. Our dedicated and experienced legal team will protect your rights and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Prince George’s County, allowing us to represent accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.