Like many new parents, when my first child was born I was overly cautious about her safety. I slowly and carefully walked around my home while holding her. I read up on co-sleeping, vaccinations, and just about every other safety concern that came to mind. When it was finally time to take my daughter for her first car ride, I pored over the car seat manual and soon realized that installing one of these contraptions is not a two-second process. Once installed, I wanted to find out what other considerations should go into securing my child as safely as possible in her seat. I was shocked to learn of the various ways a car seat could be a death trap.
The following tips are provided by the NTSB, NHTSA, and AAA. Read over them carefully so you provide the safest driving experience for your children from newborn to 13 years old (yes, 13).
Your Car Seat Shouldn’t Be Installed Loosely
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On average, a car seat should not have more than one inch of “give” when shifting back and forth and side to side. You can adjust the movement of your child’s car seat by increasing the tension on the LATCH system or seat belt.
If you are not strong enough to adjust the car seat on your own, ask for help from a friend or local organizations that provide for car seat installation checks.