Now, you may think that I believe that all cars are like Herbie the Love Bug and can talk back to us, but that’s now what I mean in this case. Choosing a car seat for your child can be one of the most difficult, yet one of the most critical decisions that you make. Those of us that are affiliated with InjuryBoard want to make certain that you make the safest choice available.
One of the first things you need to do in choosing a child car seat is to examine your car. What type of belt system does your car have? Does it have more than one type of belt system? If you have an older model car, you may need a tether anchor. Most likely, you have more than one car in your household. Have you given thought that a child safety seat may work in one car but not another?
You must make certain that the car seat you choose if compatible with your car. And it needs to be compatible with all of your cars, or you need to buy more than one car seat. One size does not necessarily fit all.
And then the hard part comes – anchoring the car seat in the car. Read the instruction manual very carefully. Don’t just assume that the seat belt of the car fits through a certain hole simply because it looks like that is where it is supposed to go. In 2004, a NHTSA found that 73% of car seats were being used incorrectly and mainly because of improper installation. Check with your local police department to see if they or another community organization is offering a free checkpoint for car seats. It may take a few minutes of your time, but these will be precious minutes if you are involved in a crash. Whether your child’s car seat is improperly installed can be a matter of life or death in an accident.