Every parent wants what is best for their babies. Before the little one arrives, everything is prepared and if possible all things should be baby proofed.
For the same reason, moms and dads cannot go wrong in providing their babies a car seat with a base to protect them from probable car accident.
Although parents might think that their babies are safe in a car seat, they should think again. Proper installation of the car seat and the car seat base is crucial to your baby’s safety.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 85% of all infant car seats with car seat base are incorrectly installed. Logically, it means that 4 out of 5 children riding in a car seat have little protection!
Mounting the car seat base correctly will ensure safety and protection of the child. Here is how you should go about correctly installing the car seat base.
Car Seat Base Installation – Installing Car Seat Base Correctly
Here are some tips you should keep in mind in order to ensure that your child’s car seat base in installed properly.
Always start with the manufacturer for proper car seat base installation
It is always a good idea to read your car seat base provider’s manual and follow the instructions written in it. At times, you will find them difficult to understand and sometimes some parts just won’t fit accordingly.
You may opt for technical support from the provider of your car seat base or start the installation from the beginning – you might have missed something in the process.
Position of the car seat and base
As a rule, car seats for infants are always facing the rear part of the vehicle and always in the rear centre seat. You also have to position your car seat base in that way.
In doing so, you can immediately see your child in the mirror if you are driving. It also allows you to reach for your little one without any hindrance. Most of all, the position enables the child to be protected from any harm cause by car accident.
For example, since your child would be in a centre position with a properly installed car seat base, even if your car is pushed to its side or t-boned, your little one will not be pressed along with your car.
Also, even though a side of your car’s door flips open, you won’t fear that your child would be thrown out from the car as he or she is safely strapped in the car seat and its car seat base in the middle of the back seat.
Adjust the car seat base
After placing the car seat base in a rear-facing position, you have to adjust its foot. You have to make sure that your car seat base is level with your vehicle’s seat.
There is an indicator provided in each car seat base to let you know if it is now leveled with your vehicle’s seat.
Correctly secure the base using the seat belt
Thread your car’s seat belt correctly in the openings of the safety base. You then have to pull the belt tightly making sure that there is no slack.
Test its rigidity by placing one knee and applying all your weight. You can then determine if it is tight enough or not. It should not move more than one inch in any direction.
Securing car seat base with a latch
If your car seat base has a latch system then threads the latch to make the installation easier. Make sure that the latch is not twisted and it is connected to its proper slots.
You can then check the tightness of the latch by placing one knee to the car seat base and put all your weight. Always remember that the latch should not move more than an inch from side-to-side or forward and backward.
The seat will make a sound when it is accurately put in place. In that way, you will know that you have properly installed the car seat base.
Once the base is mounted properly, you can now set up the car seat so that your little one can travel safely.
Periodic checks of the car seat base
Installing the car seat base once doesn’t mean your job is over.
You have to always make sure that the seat base is leveled with your vehicle’s seat, and the latch and the belts are tight enough for your little one’s security.
You have to keep checking this from time to time to ensure the safety of your child.
Try to do it in your primary vehicle
It is best if you install the car seat base in a vehicle that you normally use. It will not only lessen the idea of having to install it again but ensures you that your child’s car seat base is properly installed.
Moving from Rear Facing to Forward Facing Position
You have to keep the rear-facing position for your child as long as possible – it is a very secure position for him or her.
As your little one grows and rear-facing position is not anymore applicable, you can let your baby ride facing forward. Remember, it is always best if your child is still in the center of the backseat.