One of the most important aspects of caring for a newborn is the infant and baby car seat installation. It is estimated that 90% of car seats are improperly installed in automobiles. When a car seat is not installed correctly, infants are at increased risk of injury during a car accident. Most parents think the chance is remote that a car accident will occur, but the risk is not always in the hands of the parent. Car accidents can occur at any time with most happening within 25 miles of home. Car seat installation is not difficult, but does require a carefully set out process.
Rear-Facing with Latch: Base
Latch attachments are equipped in many newer cars. When installing the base for an infant, rear-facing car seat. Place the infant car seat in the second row of the vehicle, back seat if there is no third row seating. The base needs to sit flat against the seat cushion. Latch the first hook. Climb into the car seat and compress the seat into the cushion with your knee. Hook the second latch and take out any slack.
Rear-Facing without Latch: Base
Pull out the shoulder strap and feed it through the base. The correct wholes should be marked clearly. Climb into the car seat and press the base firmly into the car cushion with your knee. Pull out the entire length of the shoulder strap until you hear a click. Allow the seat belt to retract – it will lock as it goes. Pull any slack out of the seat belt. If the seat belt does not lock, move the car seat to a position offering a lap belt only.
Rear-Facing with Latch: Car Seat
Not all car seats come with a base. In the case that the car seat is also used as an infant carrier, many parents choose to forego latch installation due to the difficult latching the car seat in place. If the car seat will remain stationary in the car at all times, use the same process described above for the base install. If you cannot climb into the car seat, push on the seat with all your strength before attaching the final latch.
Rear-Facing without Latch: Car Seat
A car seat can be installed in an automobile with a locking shoulder strap or self tightening lap belt. The instructions for the install without a latch can be used for the car seat as well. As described above, if there is no room to place the knee in the car seat during the locking phase, press firmly on the car seat and tighten.
Proper installation of car seats can mean the difference between life and death for an infant. No parent wants to think about the dangers of driving baby in an automobile, but it is best to think ahead and plan for the unexpected, no matter how horrible those thoughts may be.