This is a sponsored post thanks to Chicco for National Baby Car Seat Safety Week.
Over the years so much has changed in regards to safety in vehicles. One thing that is constantly changing is car seat safety for children. There are now many laws and recommendations on how to keep your child safe while traveling in the car.
The new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation for keeping children rear facing until they max out on height and weight for their current car seat. I do believe in this philosophy and made sure that my son was rear facing past two years old (while it wasn’t as long as I really wanted I was pleased to have him rear facing until 2.5 years old). No matter what car seat or booster your child is in it is important to make sure that the car seat is installed properly and that your child is buckled in properly as well.
Secure Car Seat Installation
Using LATCH vs Seat Belt
When you installing a car seat in your car you have to choose between two options for the installation; you can use LATCH (LATCH stands for “lower anchors and tethers for children.”) or the seat belt for the installation. Both are great options, but there are a couple things to note. Most car seats only allow LATCH installation for children 40lbs or less which means that you must use the seat belt installation if you child exceeds this limit. Another thing to note is that it is not safe to install the car seat using both the LATCH and seat belts at the same time.
Both of these options are equally safe, but you will want to choose whichever option works the best for your vehicle. This means that you should have a tight install and your seat should be level. If your seat is forward facing you will also need to secure the top tether which means placing it in a seat that has a top tether anchor available. (This is not something that is always set up for every seat in your vehicle. You will want to check your car manual to see where your available top tethers are located.)
The Inch Test
You may have heard people reference the inch test. This test is very important in making sure that your car seat install is done properly. In order to perform the test you will need to install the seat and with your non-dominant hand you will grab the belt path on the seat. You will then give the seat a gentle tug (like that of a firm handshake) and if the seat moves less than an inch then you have a good install. If the seat moves an inch or more then you will want to continue to tighten the seat into place.
Having a seat installed tight enough is very important if you were to get into an accident. This will ensure that your child is the safest and will help to reduce the motion of the seat during an accident.
Car Seat Expiration
Car seats often have their expiration dates in similar locations on the seats. I have snapped pictures of the expiration dates on a variety of car seats that we own to show you just where the expiration date is located so that it may make it a bit easier for you to find on your car seat.
The Chicco MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat
We have used a variety of different car seats and car seat brands with our son over the years and Chicco is included in that bunch of car seats. My sons newest seat is the Chicco MyFit Harness + Booster Car Seat. This was an upgrade from an old seat that got damaged during our move a couple months ago.