Hospital details correct car seat use

Car seat safety demonstration

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley continues its mission to keep kids safe, this time the focus is on car seats.

If you’ve ever tried to fit a car seat in your vehicle, then put a child in that car seat, you know it can be difficult. Pull here, push there, and adjust everywhere.

Wednesday, an Injury Prevention Coalition Coordinator walked our news crew through the correct procedure to install and place a child in a car seat.

The best advice is to make sure you have the correct seat for your child.

“Make sure you research before you go and buy a seat. Once you are at the store, look around at the different seats. Look at the weight ranges and the age ranges and then check it in your car before you purchase it,” said Gia Ramsey with Akron Children’s Hospital.

You can also call Akron Children’s and they will check the seat for you and make sure it’s installed correctly.

The National Highway Safety Administration offers the following tips for correct child safety seat installation.

Installing the Car Seat:

  • Read the car seat instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner’s manual on car seat installation.
  • Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors of the LATCH system or the seat belt to secure it in place. If you choose to use a seat belt to install your car seat, pay close attention to how to lock your seat belt in the vehicle owner’s manual. Because every car seat and vehicle is different, it’s important to follow all instructions carefully.
  • Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s installation directions.
  • The car seat must be secured tightly in the vehicle. It should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path.
  • If it is a forward-facing seat and has a top tether strap, connect it to the tether anchor and tighten. This step is very important as it limits forward head movement in a crash.
  • If it is a rear-facing seat, make sure the car seat is installed at the correct recline angle. Most car seats have built in angle indicators or adjustors that help with this step.
  • If you have questions, trained Child Passenger Safety Technicians can help you. Many local fire and police stations offer free seat-checks. Look for an inspection station near you.

Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat:

  • Properly position the harness on your child.
  • Rear-facing – Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slot that is at or below your child’s shoulders.
  • Forward-facing – Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slot that is at or above your child’s shoulders.
  • Buckle the harness and the chest clip and tighten.The harness is snug enough when extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulder.
  • Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.

The National Highway Safety Administration has additional tips on their website along with a list of recalls. 

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