Perhaps you've heard the statistics: four out of five car seats are not installed correctly. What could possibly be so difficult about installing a car seat? Many times the car seat just doesn't fit the inside contours of the automobile, says Pamela Bryant, R.N., Manager of Community Education at Children's Hospital of Orange County and Orange County SAFE KIDS Coordinator. Without a snug, tight fit, the car seat cannot provide full protection during a collision. The result may be fatal, even at speeds as low as 30 miles per hour.
Irvine Police participates in countywide Child Car Seat Inspection Days sponsored by Orange County SAFE Kids, Orange County Health and CHOC Hospital. It was held throughout Orange County and hosted by area businesses. These events allow parents to have their car seats installed properly, learn information on recalls, and are staffed by trained, knowledgeable people able to answer questions that arise. Car seats are also available to those in need at a reduced price. Find out about the next Inspection Day at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/childps/CPSFitting/Index.cfm
Basic Car Seat Information
Installing the Car Seat
Before installation, check your car owner's manual as well as the instructions that come with the car seat. Your owner's manual will indicate the best location for the car seat. It will also identify what type of seat belt restraint system your car has and whether a locking clip is necessary. Install it per the car seat manufacturer's instructions. After installation, test the seat. Pull it as hard as you can sideways and from front to back. It should be rigid. If there is more than one inch of "give", the car seat is not safely installed.
Other Important Do's and Don'ts
- Do not put blankets or pillows between your child and the seat.
- Buy one car seat for each car. Once it's installed correctly, why move it?
- Complete the warranty card.
- Never buy a used seat.
For More Information:
These web sites can be trusted to provide updated and concise information about Child Passenger Seats. Check them regularly for updates.