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The importance of installing a car seat properly (1 of 2)

Anytime you drive you take the risk of being involved in a car accident. This is a very unnerving thought for people with small children. That's why we depend on car seats to protect our precious cargo. But if car seats are not installed properly, they don't offer the same protection, and small children can be seriously injured or killed if an accident occurs.

The California Highway Patrol reported that just last week an infant was ejected from a vehicle in Santa Rosa because of an improperly installed car seat. On Friday evening, the infant's mother was pulling out of a driveway when the vehicle's left rear door swung open and the car seat containing the child fell out into the road.

Luckily, the child suffered only minor injuries, but the mistake could have easily proven fatal.

To help make sure that California residents have installed their car seats properly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Parents Central page provides the following tips:

  • Read both the car seat's instruction manual and the section on car seat installation of your vehicle's owner's manual. Follow all instructions carefully as every car seat and vehicle is different.
  • The car seat should always be placed in the back seat of the vehicle according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • The car seat should be secured tightly in its place without moving side-to-side or front-to-back more than an inch when the belt path is pulled.

Check back later this week for more crucial information on properly installing child safety seats in vehicles as well as state law regarding car seat usage.

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