How to Use Infant Seats to Protect Children in Vehicles

By Grover Koelpin No comments


Bringing your new baby home is an incredible
experience. But it’s also normal to be nervous about…well…pretty much everything. Trust me, I know all about the nerves associated
with driving around with your infant. But you can take a big step toward settling any
new parent jitters by learning the most up-to-date child safety information. Let’s start with
your child’s car seat. On the first trip home from the hospital and
until your child is one-year-old AND weighs at least 20 pounds, your child must be in
a rear-facing car seat…and only in the backseat. While it may not sound like much of a view
for the child, it’s the single safest way for your precious cargo to travel. Even if he is fussy or…in need of a clean-up,
taking him out of the car seat while the vehicle is moving is unsafe and can result in a ticket…or
worse. Before you start, it’s extremely important
to check your car seat’s user manual, as well as your vehicle’s user manual for special
instructions. The seat we’ll be demonstrating with is a
convertible seat, designed to adapt with your child as he grows. Remember, every child seat is different. So,
in addition to the users manual and your vehicle’s owner manual, …you can also find out much more about child
safety seats at the Wisconsin Information network for Safety’s website at www.WCPSA.com. Ted is going to help us out today. “Hi Ted.” Ready to get in a little extra practice? Ok,
away we go… Before installing the seat for the first time,
make sure the harness straps fit your child. If necessary, rethread them through the back
until you get a proper fit with the harness straps at or below shoulder level. Next, you’ll want to adjust the recline stand
so it’s at the front of the car seat. This will help keep your baby at a safe and proper
angle. With one hand, grab the seatbelt and pass
it through the opening closest to you. Then, pull it through the back of the seat and through
the other side with your free hand. Once it’s through, attach the latch plate
to your car’s seat belt buckle. Then push down on the seat while pulling all the slack
out of the seatbelt. Next — and this is extremely important — make
sure you pull on the belt as tight as you can. One easy check: try to move the seat side-to-side
after you’re done. If it moves more than an inch, try it again, and don’t quit ’til it’s
firmly in place. If your car was built after 2002, it’s likely
equipped with the LATCH system. Designed to make life easier for parents,
it can be your best friend while you’re adapting to your new travel companion. Once the car seat is properly installed, it’s
time to add the most important element: your baby. The important thing here is to make sure your
child is as safe as he is comfortable. After placing him in the car seat, slip his
arms through the straps and buckle both belt straps. Now latch the chest clip and slide it up to
his mid-chest. To tighten, pull up on the harness adjustment
strap. You should find it between your child’s feet. In a rear-facing car seat, the harness
straps should be at or below your child’s shoulders. Finally, check that he is strapped in good
and snug. You should be able to pinch the strap and feel no slack. If you pinch and
can feel any loose strap, tighten it up. And now, after your child is safely secured,
you can be on your way. Before you and your baby take that first road
trip — even if it’s just around the block — it’s vital to know the right way to install
your child’s safety seat. It’s easy if you remember these simple steps: Make sure your car seat is at the proper angle
according to its user manual. Thread the belt and latch it into the seat
belt buckle. Tighten the seat belt and harness straps and
adjust the chest clip. Following the same steps every time will go
a long way toward keeping your baby safe, and keeping your mind at ease. For more information on Wisconsin Child Safety
Seat laws, visit ZeroInWisconsin.gov/ChildSafetySeats. For best practices and additional safety recommendations,
visit HealthyChildren.org

Leave a Reply