How to Properly Install a Rear-Facing Car Seat
Driving with an infant can be stressful for new parents, who are naturally concerned about their baby’s safety and comfort. A properly installed car seat is a key element that can take the stress out of car rides and help ensure that your baby is safe and secure. Some new parents can be intimidated by the thought of making a mistake when installing a rear-facing car seat.
To help clear up some common points of confusion, we worked with Safety 1st and the Buffalo Grove, IL Police Department on the video below to show how to properly install a rear-facing car seat.
Hi. I’m Officer Carlson with the Buffalo Grove Police Department, and I’m going to show you the right way to install a rear-facing car seat.
Make sure you read your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle owner’s manual because each car has a unique setup. I’ve placed the car seat in the center position of the vehicle because in the event of a side impact, this is the safest spot.
Take the seat belt and carefully thread it through the belt path. Make sure that the seat belt is not twisted after you click it in. Place some pressure on the seat itself and then pull on the seat belt to tighten in the spot. Tug on the seat belt to make sure it’s locked.
Always check the level line. I can see that the angle is not correct. I will need to use either a rolled towel or a foam pool noodle underneath the base to achieve the proper angle. So, now tighten the seat back down again, make sure you do your side to side test and make sure it doesn’t move more than an inch. Checking the level line again, it’s level with the ground and now this seat is properly installed.
Now we’re ready to fit the seat to the baby. Megan and Emma are going to help us out. I can see the straps are feeding in through the back just above her shoulders, so I’ll need to adjust. I can see the straps are going in below her shoulders and we’re ready to proceed.
Pull on this strap at the bottom of the seat to tighten the harness, and then move the retaining clip into arm pit level. Perform the pinch test on the material. If you grab any material between your fingers, you know the straps are too loose. Place your fingers underneath the straps to make sure that it’s not too snug.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children ride rear-facing until they are approximately 2 years of age. Drive safely.