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Avoid a Car-Seat Mistake

Learn the mistakes that parents most often make, and how to avoid them.

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-Hi, I'm Jessica Hartshorn, from American Baby Magazine, and I'm here with Adam Cohen of DaDarocks.com, and a certified passenger safety technician. And he's gonna walk us through the top 3 mistakes parents make with their car seats. So Adam what's the biggest mistake that parents make? -First mistake is just having it installed incorrectly. And you can simply just test that by-- if you can wiggle it more than an inch, your car seat's not installed correctly. -And then what do you do? -Well, then you could check out the user manual, after that, you could always look at the stickers on the car seat themselves 'cause they should really be a good guide to make sure that you know how to and properly install it. You could simply use the LATCH system, which is these things down here on the top tether, to anchor it in. Or you could use the seatbelt. But let's not use both together. So, it's not doubly safe, it's an absolute no-no to put both of them together. -And if you are not sure if you have it in correctly, you can look at Seatcheck.org, right? -Seatcheck.org, you just simply put in your zip code information and it'll find a certified passenger safety technician in your local area that could help you install it. While firemen and police stations might install it for you for free, some baby stores might have a menial charge to install it. -Okay, and what's another mistake that parents make after they get it all in there correctly? -The next mistake is very commonly be where the straps are coming from. You wanna make sure that the chest plate is across the chest and on forward-facing car seats, the shoulder straps comes straight down. Whereas on infant car seats, you want them to kinda' hook over and above. -The shoulders, right? So, if they're facing the back, it's coming up over and above, and if they're facing forward, it's coming straight down. And the chest plate's not bound at their weight [unk]. -That's correct. It's up at armpit level. -Okay. So, now you've got this in correctly and have strap in correctly, is there another mistake that parents frequently make? -The next mistake is about either having a child in an infant car seat too long or having them forward-facing before they're really ready. So you really wanna make sure that you're looking at the size and weight requirements for the infant car seats, usually between 20 and 35 pounds, would they grow out of the infant car seat, and you really don't wanna forward-face your child until somewhere between 1 and 2 years old. The American Pediatric Association now recommends that you should have them rear-facing until two. -All right. So keep them rear-facing as long as possible, or you turn them around. All right, thank you for walking us through all of those safety tips for using your car seat correctly.