Securing a Child Seat in a Car
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 9, 2012)
One of the most common fears that new and expecting parents feel is that they will somehow or another not have the car seat for their child installed properly. The truth of the matter is that installing a car seat properly has gotten to be an increasingly easy task to perform. This is in large part due to efforts by both the car manufacturers and those who design the car seats themselves. This means that securing a child seat in a car is almost as easy as child's play; at least as long as you follow a few simple steps.
- Choose the appropriate model. In order to secure a child seat in a car, you need to first choose the proper car seat. This is actually a lot easier than you would think, since most car seats are designed with specific weights and ages of children in mind. So what this means is that ideally you will need to pick a seat that is made or designed for children that weigh in the same general range as your child.
- Read the instructions, both sets. Once you have the car seat that you want, you need to take time to read the instructions that come along with it. This will give you a basic understanding of how the car seat works, and how the manufacturer intends for it to be installed. However, that is not the only set of instructions that you should read. Take the time to look in the owner's manual of your vehicle as well to see how the car makers think you should do it.
- Practice before you need it. As much as is humanely possible, you should follow both sets of instructions when securing a safety seat. To ensure that you do the job properly, you should never wait until the last minute. Rather, you should be doing install it a few weeks ahead of time, and then remove it, and then reinstall it. This will ensure that you know the proper methods for getting secured in your vehicle quickly, and help ensure that you are doing it the proper way.
- Have your work tested. Many cities offer a program where you can take your car, with the car seat, to the local police station, and have them check to ensure that it is properly installed. Look to see if your city offers that program, and if it does, make sure that you take advantage of that. If not, you may want to see if the hospital will be willing to check, though many hospitals are no longer checking. The reason for that is liability; they don't want to be held responsible if there is a problem with the seat.
- Drive carefully. After you have the seat properly installed, and checked, make sure that you remember to drive carefully. While a car safety seat is designed to help keep your child safe, it is only designed to help. The primary means for keeping your child safe while driving is to drive safely and defensively.
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