You can never be too safe when it comes to your little ones, which is why child safety seat laws are as strict as they are. Your toddler’s grandparents might remember the day when they didn’t have to wear seatbelts, but these days, countless children are saved each year by safety seats and modern automobile technology. Safety seats aren’t full-proof, however, and Auto Correct Car Care sees these five common mistakes often when parents come into their shop with their kids in the safety seats.
1. Installed too Loosely
Once you’ve installed the safety seat in the back seat of your vehicle, you should not be able to move it more than 1 inch. This restriction is for all directions. You shouldn’t be able to move it more than an inch side-to-side or backward-to-forward. Make sure your child safety seat is installed as tightly as it can be.
2. Shoulder Straps Aren’t Positioned Correctly
Once you strap your child into the seat, make certain the shoulder straps are placed where they should be. In rear-facing seats, the shoulders straps should thread through the opening at your baby’s shoulders or just below them. Forward-facing seats should have the straps at or above the shoulders.
3. Harness Is Too Loose
Once the shoulder straps are placed in their proper position and you’ve snapped the harness around your child, check to see if it’s too loose. Pinch the straps across your child’s chest between the harness clip and shoulders. Strap material should not be able to bunch up between your fingers.
4. Seat Belt Is in the Wrong Path
If you bought a safety seat that can convert from backward-facing to frontward-facing you have two different slots through which to loop the seatbelt. Make certain you loop the belt through the correct slot, as this is a common mistake many parents make. Check the safety seat’s manual for instruction.
5. Don’t Ignore the Top Tether Strap
All child safety seats have a top tether strap that most people ignore. Your vehicle seats should have an anchor point for the top tether, so check your owner’s manual for location. Once you find it, attach the child seat’s top tether to the anchor as tight as you can. This adds a layer of stability and protection.
If you still fear that you do not have your child’s safety seat installed correctly in your vehicle, swing by Auto Correct Car Care in Finksburg, MD. If you’d like to set up an appointment for child safety seat instruction, call us at 443-290-5724.