Is Your Child in the Right Car Seat? #therightseat

Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children age 1 to 13 in the USA? In 2013, a child under 13 was involved in a crash every 33 seconds.

During Child Passenger Safety Week, please visit to determine your child is in the right seat for his or her age and size and to locate a car seat inspection event in their area.  Additionally, parents and caregivers can register their child’s car seat with the manufacturer so as to be informed in the event of a recall.
  • If a car seat is not installed correctly, your child’s safety could be compromised. Every car seat has different installation instructions. You can find resources and tips here to help you get “the right fit” on your car seats:
  • Free Car Seat Inspections: During Child Passenger Safety Week, there will be events across the country where Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will inspect car seats and show parents and caregivers how to correctly install and use them. In most cases, this service is free of charge.  Locate a car seat check event here:

 Car Seat Safety Tips:

  • Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they sit in your car will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age and allows some room growth.
  • Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits well in your vehicle.
  • Before putting your child in a car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works and how to install it.
  • All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then booster. These seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time, which physicians and safety experts strongly recommend.

Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use,  fits in your vehicle correctly, and which you’ll use every time…

  • The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
    • Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
    • Children ages 1-3 should be kept rear-facing as long as they fit the car seat.
    • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
    • Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly by having it checked at an inspection station or by a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a seat check appointment!

Sarah Tilton’s Car Seat Installation Tips and WIN a Britax Advocate ClickTight car seat


Car Seat Installation Tips:

  • It is important to follow the user manuals from both the child car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer in order to achieve a proper installation.
  • Use a car seat that makes installation as simple as buckling a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three out of every four car seats are installed incorrectly. To address this concerning fact, the new ClickTight installation technology in Britax convertible car seats gives any caretaker the confidence to correctly and securely install these seats in just a few easy steps.
  • The safest place for your child in any vehicle is in the back seat. The center of the rear seat is preferable to outboard (window) positions — as long as you can achieve a tight installation — because it is the farthest from a side impact. Research has shown that children under the age of 3 have a 43 percent lower risk of injury when restrained in the center of the rear seat compared with the rear outboard positions. However, keep in mind that if you’re not able to install your car seat in the center position, a properly installed car seat in an outboard position will still provide excellent protection for your child during a crash.
  • Tips to avoid loose car seat installation:
  • After installation, grasp the seat near the belt path to check for excessive movement, which is movement of more than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back at the belt path.
  • If you have trouble installing your car seat securely, try the following:
    • Install the car seat in another seating position in your vehicle. For example, if you can’t install it securely in the rear center seat, try an outboard position.
    • Install the car seat using another installation method. For example, if you’re not able to get a secure installation using the LATCH system, try to install with the vehicle seat belt and tether.
  • The process of seating and removing your child along with the motion from your vehicle moving can shake your child seat loose over time. This makes it critical to check the fit often and reinstall your child seat periodically.
  • Using a technology like ClickTight, which uses seat belts for installation, also eliminates any parental worry about the 65-pound LATCH capacity and when to switch a growing child away from it.
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