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Top 12 Car Seat Mistakes: AAA
- Prematurely ditching the booster seat – Seat belts aren’t designed for young kids. It might be embarrassing for them, but most children aren’t ready for an adult seat belt until between the ages of eight and 12.
- Not installing the car seat tight enough – There shouldn’t be more than an inch of wiggle room in any direction for the seat. If there is, you need to tighten it to the car seat more.
- Loose harness straps – Harness straps should be snug. Allowing slack can cause serious injuries to your youngster during a crash…
- Retainer clip (or chest clip) is too low – The retainer clip needs to be at armpit level to secure the child in the event of a crash.
- Turning child seats forward facing too soon – Don’t do this until the child is at least two years old.
- Riding shotgun at a young age – Kids under the age of 13 typically haven’t grown enough to safely ride in the front seat of a car.
- Skipping the top tether – This prevents the top of the seat from moving forward in a crash. With out it, a child’s head and neck are more prone to injury during a crash.
- Toys and mirrors are a hidden danger – Avoid accessorizing the car seat. It might seem like fun, but adding items the unit isn’t designed for can be dangerous.
- Installing a car seat using LATCH in the center rear position of a vehicle (when not permitted by the manufacturer) – Few vehicles support LATCH in the center rear seats. When in doubt, check your owner’s manual.
- Transporting unsecured, heavy items, including pets, in the vehicle – Anything loose in your car can be especially hazardous during a crash.
- Installing a car seat using both LATCH and a seat belt – It’s one or the other as these systems often work against each other in the event of a crash.
- Wearing bulky clothing while buckled into a car seat – Buckle your kids up then put blankets over them for warmth. Thick jackets can prevent a restraint system from working properly.