Making sure your child is properly buckled in their car seat is just as important as buying a good car seat. You could have the world’s best car seat but if your child isn’t buckled properly then it’s just not going to help them stay safe.
Things To Keep In Mind When Buckling That Car Seat
The Chest Clip needs to be at arm pit level. You will need to make sure it is at the correct level every single time you buckle your child in, as the clip tends to move around
Did you know that depending on if your child is rear facing or forward facing, the harness needs to be in certain slots? Harnesses work differently depending on the way that the seat is facing. If you thread those straps the wrong way then they will not help in an accident.
Rear Facing Harness
Shoulder straps need to be at or BELOW the shoulders
Forward Facing Harness
Car Seat Installation
It might seem that if a product is on the shelves then it must be safe to use. Unfortunately this is not true. When it comes to car seats, you should not use ANY aftermarket products. This includes head cushions, buckle covers, car seat covers like the Bundle Me, and even those cute slipcovers that you can buy so that you can update the look of your car seat. It may not seem like it but aftermarket products can hinder the car seat’s ability to keep your child safe in an accident. Not to mention that it will void any warranties with the car seat manufacturer. If the product did not come with the car seat or can be purchased through the same car seat manufacturer for that specific seat then do not use it!
This is a big one. The harness need to be tight! Harnesses need to lie in a straight line without any slack. There is a simple test that you can do to see if you have those straps tight enough; it’s called the pinch test. Buckle your child in their seat and then using your pointer finger and thumb try to pinch the strap near your child’s collarbone. If you can pinch the strap then that harness is not tight enough. If the harness is tight enough, you should not be able to pinch the strap.
Sure it might be below freezing and you just want to keep your baby all bundled and warm but that jacket must come off before you buckle them in! Why? Because when you add a bulky layer like a jacket to the car seat mix, it makes the harness too loose. They may seem like they are snug but in an accident the jacket will compress and suddenly those straps that seemed so tight are now inches too loose! Don’t believe me? Try it! Buckle your child with a jacket on and get those straps as snug as you normally would. Now without loosening those straps, un-clip the buckles, remove the jacket, re-buckle and now see how snug that harness fits! Tons of slack! The safe alternative is to either have a car blanket that the kids can use or buckle your child into their car seat without the jacket and then place the jacket on backwards on top of the straps.