Get into the habit of reading the entire car seat manual.
Now, consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle to learn how to install the car seat correctly. Do you now understand what I mean?
I was feeling the same way.
It’s terrifying to be unsure how to install one, as doing so incorrectly might lead to devastating damage for your child in the event of a car crash. Many of my close friends and family members have installed them improperly. A poorly installed car seat can jeopardize a child’s life or health. As a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents in Mississippi, I’ve seen far too many cases where children were hurt.
So I set out to make sense of the car seat maze and learn how to install one correctly. If you want to reduce your risk of injury in a car crash, installing safety features precisely is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your passengers.
To keep your child safe in a car seat, your modern car or SUV should have what is called a “top-tether anchor.” Look in your car’s owner’s manual for information on “top-tether anchors.” One top tether anchor is all that will be used. Now, turn around and look at the seat’s back; something resembling a belt with a latch near the seat’s top should. The latch should be facing up when attached to the top tether anchor.
The next step is to secure the “lower-level anchors.” Again, if you have a relatively recent car or SUV, it should come with “lower-level anchors.” Two of these anchors are required for every car seat. Take a peek at the base of the heart back right now. There should be two latches on either end of what looks like a seat belt. The anchors will serve as attachment points for these latches. The material of the seat belt must be threaded through the holes in the back of the chair. You’ll need to consult the user handbook for your car seat to see where the strap should be threaded. After that, position your knee in the seat’s center and fasten the latches to the floor anchors. When I tell you to put your knee in the middle of the car seat, you must use all your body weight. Keep your body weight planted in the vehicle seat, and cinch the belt-like material tightly around the latch. After that, shake the center from side to side to ensure it’s working correctly. A one- to half-inch shift is acceptable. You are not pulling it tight enough if it moves. This indicates that you did not fully engage it with your knee and that the seat belt’s latch was not pulled tight enough.
Please consult the car seat’s instructions and your vehicle’s owner’s manual in addition to this article, as each car seat and vehicle combination is unique. Having put in over a hundred hearts for myself, relatives, and others, I can say that this is how they all function, give or take a few details.
Putting adequate weight in the seat and shaking the car seat from side to side to ensure minimal movement during installation cannot be overstated. This won’t guarantee any injuries but will significantly reduce the risk.
Car Accident Lawyer in Mississippi, Jay Foster (C) 2010
Top 7 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Mississippi Car Accident Case was written by Jay Foster, a car accident and workers’ compensation attorney in Mississippi. Visit http://www.jayfosterlaw.com/book.html or call (228) 872-6000 to learn more about his book and receive a free report.