How to install a car seat correctly | Child Safety Passenger Week | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — This week is Child Passenger Safety Week and Seat Check Saturday is this weekend. It’s to bring attention to the safety of children as it relates to finding the correct car seat.

Officer Ricardo Ortiz with CHP says to first check the date of when the seat was manufactured. Then, read the manual of the car seat and the vehicle to check to make sure they are compatible. 

The directions on the car seat itself also show important installation information like height and weight limits for the seat, how it’s mounted and what seatbelt path to use. He says the seat should be snug and shouldn’t move more than 1″ from the belt path.

“The latch system and the seatbelt are not designed to be used together. It is best to use one or the other,” said Ortiz.

CHP says any child under 8-years-old has to be in a car seat or booster in the back seat. If they are 8 or older and at least 4’9″, they can wear a seat belt if it fits properly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the seatbelt should lie properly along the shoulder, chest and upper thighs. According to NHTSA, some kids between the ages of eight and 12 could still need a booster seat.

“Any child under the age of two must be in a rear-facing seat unless they are 40 pounds or 40 inches tall or more,” said Ortiz.

Strap placement is another important piece and it all depends on which way they’re facing.

“If they’re facing forward, you want to make sure those straps are at or above the shoulders. If they are facing rear, then you want to make sure those straps are at or below, slightly below the shoulders,” said Ortiz. “When the child is strapped in, the [buckle] should be right in the middle of the chest. Not too low and not too high.”

Jennifer Morrison is the leader of vehicle safety at Mazda and she says there are multiple factors to consider when finding the right seat.

“You need to find the right seat for your kid. Not all kids come in the same growth chart, shape, size,” said Morrison.

The NHTSA has a website to help you find the right one.

“Age, height, and weight. You can input all of your individual children’s information right into the website and they can give you a general recommendation on whether they can be in a rear-facing seat, forward-facing seat, booster seat, maybe just a seatbelt’s ok,” said Morrison.

Many places offer seat inspection and installation in our area, linked below. Some agencies can also help with low-cost car seats. Just make sure to watch the installs so you know what to do. 

More Car Seat Information & Resources: 

WATCH ALSO | Study: Minivans fail backseat safety tests


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