Injury Law Blog

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

Welcome back. We are currently discussing the importance of installing car seats properly. Here are the remaining tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Parents Central page on properly installing car seats:

  • For rear-facing seats: The car seat should be installed at the correct recline angle. Most ears are equipped with indicators that help determine this.
  • For forward-facing seats: If the car seat has a top tether strap, it should be connected to the tether anchor and tightened to limit forward head movement if a crash should occur.

Additionally, it’s important that the child is fitted correctly in the car seat, the website reports. Consider these tips for correctly fitting a child in a car seat:

  • The chest clip should be at armpit level on the child
  • The harness straps should lie flat and should be placed through slots that are at or below the child’s shoulders.
  • The harness should be tight enough while buckled so that extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulders.

In California, the state Highway Patrol reminds parents and caretakers that under the law, children under the age of 8 must be secured in car seats or boosters seats in the back seat of vehicles at all times. Children who are under 8 but 4’9″ or taller may use a seat belt in the back seat of vehicles.

The CHP reports that each year, thousands of children are injured or killed because of car seats that are not properly fastened. To get an in-person lesson on properly securing your child in a car seat, call your local CHP Area Office for an appointment.