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Car Seat Installation Tips
To Ensure the Safest Ride
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 75% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Every car and car seat has different requirements for the safest installation so before you get started it is important not to rely only on the stickers on the car seat, but also to read both the car seat and car manual.
Typically the center rear seat is the safest place for a car seat. Never install a car seat in the front seat. If your car does not have a LATCH connector for the middle seat, use the middle seat belt to properly secure the car seat. It is recommended that you use the car seat rear-facing as long as possible in accordance with the car seat’s height and weight limits.
Make sure to adjust the car seat to fit your child. Keep in mind that for rear-facing seats, the shoulder straps should be just below the shoulder. For children that are forward-facing, the shoulder straps should be just above the shoulder.
For rear-facing installations, most car seats have an angle indicator line to ensure that car seats are installed at the correct angle. In some cases, a tightly rolled towel or pool noodle can be used to help achieve this optimal position.
Periodically check the car seat, to make sure it has not shifted or loosened during use. Make sure the seat does not move more than 1 inch when pushed and pulled with reasonable force at the belt path.
Be sure to adjust the car seat to fit your child as they grow. Harness heights will need to move up. Buckle locations and other adjustments can also be made for a safer and more comfortable fit.
Safe at Home: Creating a Safe Space for Play
Having a designated play area your little one can call their own makes it easier to have other rooms, like the laundry room, be off limits. This area can be in a separate room in your home or use an existing room, like the living room. Following these tips will help get you started.
See the World through a Child’s Eyes
This means getting down on your hands and knees and looking around. You might notice small objects that can be missed from your adult height. Pay attention to the height of your child's reach.
Making Furniture Safe
Make sure all buttons or decorative accents found on sofas or chairs are secure to reduce the likelihood of them coming off, which could present a choking hazard. Consider removing throw pillows or other items with these types of decoration out of the play area.
Toddlers and Electronics
Keep all cords from electronics out of reach of children. Use flat outlet covers for all unused outlets, and use box type plug covers, such as the Safety 1st Outlet Cover, to protect toddlers from outlets that have electronics plugged in.
Toys selected for your child should be age- appropriate. It is a good idea to stay at or below age ratings with toys you give to your toddler. Toys received as gifts can be stored until your child reaches the appropriate age.
Consider a second baby monitor for use in the play area. This gives you the freedom to be in another area of your home and still keep in touch with what’s happening with your little one.