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Car Seat Missteps to Avoid

3 tips that improve safety according to an expert

Knowing when to transition your child from one car seat to the next can be a confusing process. Should it be by age? Height? Weight? Car seat brand Chicco held a survey of 1,000 parents with kids from infants to age 10. The survey found the transition process is more confusing to moms and dads, while 92% of them felt confident in the installation. But both are equally important in terms of safety.

To help parents better navigate these particular aspects of car seats, Josh Dilts, child passenger safety technician at Chicco, shares some tips:

Take advantage of available resources.

According to the Chicco survey, only half of the parents said they read the car seat manual or watch videos when they have questions. The manuals and videos provide guidance on installation as well as features and attributes that can help you understand when to transition.

Consider multiple factors when choosing a car seat.

Three that go hand-in-hand include child fit, ease of installation, and safety features. “If one factor, such as easy installation, is lacking, it could impact the safety and comfort of the seat,” Dilts says. “Child comfort is a more important feature than people may think, because it affects correct seat posture and the child’s willingness to be in the seat.”

Maximize your car seat.

Car seats are an investment, we know. So don’t be shy about wanting to get the most out of it. In the survey, 61% of parents incorrectly said the time to transition a child to a booster seat with a seat belt is when the child meets the minimum size requirements of the booster. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says a forward-facing car seat should be used for as long as possible, until height and weight limits have been reached. Read more at healthychildren.org.

What have you found to be the most confusing or difficult aspects of a child’s seat? Tell us at editorial@dfwchild.com.

This article was originally published in July 2020.

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