Taking a vacation should be fun and carefree. Relaxing and enjoying your trip depends on ensuring that your kids are safe and secure. In the case of younger children, this means using the correct size and type of car seat, and installing it properly – here are a few tips to remember!
Make Sure You Have the Right Seat for Your Child
When you’re selecting a car seat, you have a few options regarding its type. Each is best suited to a specific age and size range, and you should move up to the next step once your little one grows too big for the old seat, according to its weight limit. Infant-only seats for the littlest kids are then replaced by rear-facing seats. Next up are the front-facing models, then booster seats that help children sit up taller.
Pick the Right Place in the Car for the Seat
When you’re choosing where to place a car seat, you should consult your owner’s manual. Each seat is only suited to specific places in the car – for example, the front passenger seat or middle rear seat might not be a safe place to put your car seat.
Secure the Car Seat in Place
Car seats are secured in place by either seat belts or lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH). Safe Kids offers the important reminder that you should use one of these methods or the other, not both. You’re looking for the snuggest fit possible. It’s also good to remember that top tethers apply whether you’re using a seat belt or LATCH as the lower anchor.
Do the Inch Test
After installing the car seat, try to pull it backward and forward and side to side at the seat belt path. If it moves more than an inch, that’s a sign that the seat isn’t installed tightly enough.
Proper car seat use is important for your peace of mind on your next road trip – and when you’re back home driving in your own neighborhood, too!