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According to autobytel.com, more than seventy percent of child safety restraints in the United States are installed or used incorrectly. Most of these errors are easy to correct once you know you are doing them wrong.
Great Plains Auto Body partners with Children’s Hospital to offer free car seat inspections in order to ensure your children are safe and secure while traveling in a vehicle. If you have any questions at all about your child’s car seat, we are happy to help.
Here are a few common car seat mistakes that parents make:
- Loose seat straps. Don’t allow too much give in the car seat harness when buckling your child in. The straps shouldn’t hurt your child, but they should be snug enough so that it isn’t loose near the buckle, chest, or shoulders.
- Using an old seat. Think twice and do your research before reusing the car seat that you were using with your first and second child or the car seat that you found on Craigslist. If you must reuse, make sure the car seat has the original instructions or contact the manufacturer for a replacement copy. Check the manual to make sure it has all its parts. Also, it’s important to check if it has been recalled. To avoid the dangers of aging plastic, SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. recommends a car seat that is ideally less than five years old and definitely less than ten years old. An expiration date is usually stamped somewhere on the seat.
- Car seat is too loose. With both hands, grab the car seat at its base near where the seat belt passes through the seat. You shouldn’t be able to move the car seat more than one inch to the left, right, or forward. If you can, it’s not tight enough.
- Picking the wrong seat for your child’s height, weight, and/or age. Don’t keep your child in an infant seat for a longer period of time so that you can just go to a booster seat and save a little money. Make sure you do your research so that your child is safe in a car seat that fits their age, weight, and height.
- Placing your car seat in the wrong spot. The safest place for your child’s car seat is in the back seat away from active air bags. If you have just one car seat in the back seat, install it in the center if a good fit is possible rather than next to a door.
Need an auto body professional? Call Great Plains Auto Body at 402.334.7100. Make sure to follow our Twitter or Facebook page.
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