Quick Tips


Quick Tips for Every Parent and Child

Quick Tips for Rear-facing Car Seats

Quick Tips for Forward-facing Safety Seats
Quick Tips for Belt Positioning Booster Seat
Quick Tips to Determine If Your Child Can Wear a Seat Belt

Quick Tips for Every Parent and Child

  1. Restrain your child on every trip, EVERY TIME
  2. Keep your child in the back seat
  3. Use the best safety restraint for your child's weight and size
  4. Use the safety seats and belts correctly
  5. The safest vehicle seat for your child's safety seat is the one in which you can install the safety seat tightly and correctly

View the Best Practices for Every Parent and Child

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 Quick Tips for  Rear-facing Car Seats

  1. The best angle for the back of a rear-facing seat is no greater than 45 degrees (from vertical).  If the safety seat back is too flat your infant is at risk for ejection.  If the safety seat back is too upright your infant may not be able to breathe. However, you should ALWAYS follow manufactures recommendations for recline as found in your child restraint instructions.
  2. A pool noodle (cut to size) or a tightly-rolled towel under the "foot-end" of the infant seat can help you achieve the best angle.  Check your safety seat instruction manual for how to determine the correct back angle for your seat.
  3. A rolled towel or blanket placed around your baby's head can help keep his or her head from flopping from side-to-side. 
  4. Harness straps keep the infant in the safety seat during a crash.  The straps should be at or below your infant's shoulders and should be secured snugly.  If you can pinch a fold across the straps, they are too loose.  The harness straps should not be twisted.
  5. The clip helps keep the harness straps positioned over your baby's shoulders.  The top of the clip should be at armpit level.
  6. LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a new anchor system that enables you to secure your child safety seat to a LATCH-equipped vehicle without using the vehicle seat belt.

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Quick Tips for  Forward-facing Safety Seats

  1. Forward-facing seats should be placed at the angle for the forward-facing position.  If you are using a convertible seat, you will need to adjust the rear stand or other angle adjuster to make the seat more upright.  Check your child safety seat instruction manual.
  2. For forward-facing seats, the harness straps should be threaded through the designated reinforced slots at or above the shoulders.  The harness should be secured tightly.  If you can pinch a fold across the straps, they are too loose.  The harness straps should not be twisted.
  3. The purpose of the harness retainer clip is to keep the harness straps positioned over your child's shoulders.  The top of the chip should be positioned at armpit level.
  4. Tethers help keep the top of the safety seat and your child's head from moving too far forward in a crash.  Tether straps attach the top of the safety seat to special tether anchors in your vehicle.
  5. LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a new anchor system that enables you to secure your child safety seat to a LATCH-equipped vehicle without using the vehicle seat belt.

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Quick Tips for  Belt-positioning Booster Seats

  1. Backless boosters may be used in vehicle seat positions that have head restraints or head rests.
  2. High back boosters should be used if your child's head is not supported by the vehicle's seat back.
  3. Booster seats raise children so that the vehicle lap and shoulder belts are properly positioned across the child's chest and hips. 
  4. Tethers are straps that attach the top of the child seat to special anchors in your vehicle.  Check you instruction booklet to see if a tether is recommended with your booster.
  5. Seat belts are made for adults, not children. The shoulder belt, which rest across the chest and on the collar bone of adults, may ride up on a child's neck.  Lap belts, which lie across the lap, touching the thighs on adults, ride up over the child's hips and rest around a child's belly.  This can result in internal injuries.

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Quick Tips: Can Your Child Wear a Seat Belt?

If you are wondering whether your child is ready to move from a belt-positioning booster seat to an adult seat belt, take the 5-Step Test (courtesy of SafetyBeltSafe, U.S.A.)

  1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
  3. Does the lap belt cross the shoulder between the neck and the arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
     
  5. Can the child stay seated like this for the WHOLE trip?

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