How to Install a Car Seat

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The birth of a new child brings many challenges, one of which is ensuring your baby stays safe. Incorrect installation of a car seat is often overlooked, resulting in putting your newborns life in danger. By following the steps set forth in this TaskMap you can rest assured knowing that each trip your baby goes on is a safe one.

Steps

  1. Place car seat in the backseat. Face the car seat towards rear window. Using the backseat is always safer for infants, this is especially true in a car with air bags. If it is necessary to place the baby in the passenger seat be sure to turn off passenger airbag (Refer to the owners manual on how to do so).
  2. Attach seat belt tightly to car seat base. Check owners manual/ seat belt label for tightening instructions . New car seats may use lower latch anchors to attach the car seat, refer to manual for instructions on how to use these anchors. WARNING: Do not use lower anchors and seat belts together. The car seat is tight when you pull it side to side and it does more than 1 inch.
  3. Ensure car seat in reclined sufficiently, this is so that the babys head will wont flop forward. Never tilt the car seat more than halfway (45 degrees) back. Use indicator on the car seat or base as a guide. If necessary place rolled towel under the base (only if manual says it is okay to do so).
  4. Dress baby in tight clothing. This will help prevent irritation from the crotch strap. Do not dress the baby in heavy clothes as tighten the straps snugly may not be possible.
  5. Put shoulder straps in lowest possible position. Use slots next to or below babys shoulders and position chest clip at armpit level.
  6. Tuck rolled up blankets along the babys sides. Padding helps get the baby comfortable. Never use inserts, blankets, or towels under or behind the baby.
  7. Roll up and place a washcloth between the baby and the crotch strap.
  8. Adjust the harness straps. If you can pinch a loop of the strap, tighten the harness more.
  9. Cover baby with a blanket. During cold weather, it is especially important keep your babys body warm. Make sure blankets are tucked in under the baby and cannot cover babys face and neck.

Tips

  • Unless provided with no alternative, always install the car in the back seat facing the rear window (for rear facing car seats). If this is not possible, ensure that the passenger air bag is turned off (check your cars owners manual for directions on shutting off the airbag). The force that the airbag deploys in is so great that it could kill your child (even if the accident was a simple fender bender), do not take this risk.
  • Use the infant rear facing car seat as long as possible, meaning; until the babys head is within 1 inch of the top shell of the car seat or until the baby reaches the car seats weight limit. Once your baby has outgrown the infant car seat, move onto using a rear-facing convertible seat. The rear facing convertible should be used until as long as possible (until your child has outgrown the seat).
  • Singing or playing with your baby will help calm him down
  • Use the angle indicator to ensure that the car seat is reclined properly
  • Police stations will check your car seat installation if you have any doubts about it being properly secured. A car accident could happen at any time, its best to ensure your childs safety.

Warnings

  • Never remove a child from their car seat while the vehicle is in motion
  • Do not use latch anchors and seat belts together to secure a car seat
  • Do not dress your child in too many layers as this may make it difficult or impossible to secure the harness straps

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