When it comes to the safety of your child, car seats are designed to considerably reduce the risks of injuries. These injuries may be fatal for toddlers and infants in the event of a collision. In the same way that you would fasten your own seatbelt to make sure that you are safe while you are driving, your child should always be secured in his or her own car seat that is right for his or her size and age. Let’s take a look at some of the guidelines and information about how to install a car seat base so that you can be sure that your child is safe as he or she rides with you.
How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Child
There are many types of car seats in the market, and it may seem like a daunting task to choose the right one. But don’t worry, there are guidelines that can help you to better understand how to assess your options. Here are some of the points that you may want to take note of:
The car seat should be rear-facing for children below one-year-old. It should have a system of harness straps as well as a cradle that is designed to protect the neck and spine of the child in the event of a crash.
The car seat should still be rear-facing for toddlers aged one to three years old. It is important to keep the car seat in the rear-facing position until such time that your child is already at the maximum weight or height that is recommended by the manufacturer of the car seat. You’ll find this information in the manual provided along with the car seat.
For Children 4-7 Years Old
At this age, your child is ready for the front-facing position. Children below four years old who have already outgrown the weight and height maximum of the car seat can already go for the front-facing position. The car seat should have a system of tether straps. This is much safer in comparison to the usual seatbelt for children.
The booster seat option is for children who are at eight to twelve years old. Younger children who have outgrown the maximum height and weight of the car seat can also use the booster seat. The booster seat has a design that adds extra height so that the seat belt of the car can fit your child properly.
How to Install a Car Seat Base
At first sight, the thought of installing the car seat may intimidate you. In this section, we’ll share with you some of the basics. While installation may be different from vehicle to vehicle, there are always some basic steps that can be applicable to all. Here are those steps:
Read the manual for the instructions.
You don’t have to do any guesswork when it comes to the installation of the car seat. All of the important and specific steps are in the manual. Make sure that you read it so that you can understand how to install the car seat securely.Place the car seat in the back seat as this is the safest place for your child when it comes to riding a car.
Review your car’s manual
Some of the newer cars have lower anchors that have been built into the seat. You can use these for attaching the car seat. Other older cars may not have the lower anchors so you may have to use the car’s seat belt in securing the car seat. By reviewing the car’s manual, you’ll find what you need to proceed with the proper installation.
Locking the seat belt
If you find that your car does not have the lower anchors, check your car’s manual to know how you can lock a seat belt to keep the car seat secure.
Securing the car seat tightly
Once you have installed the car seat by attaching it with either the lower anchors or the seat belt, try to wiggle it back and forth and side to side. If installed correctly, you will observe that the car seat won’t move in any direction for more than an inch.
Adjusting the recline angle
For car seats in the rear-facing position, it is vital that the car seat’s base is level to make sure that the head of your child will not flop forward. Most of the seats have indicators, so you’ll know if the angle is right.
Connecting the tether strap. For forward-facing car seats, there is an extra strap on top for additional safety. Make sure that you recheck your car as well as attach and tighten the tether strap so as to prevent excessive head movement if a collision happens.
These are some of the basic points you should take note of when it comes to the installation of the car seat. Make sure to review the manuals, both of the car seat and of your vehicle so that you will have an easier time in the installation.