Car Seat Installation for Dummies

Between the two of us, my husband and I have three Master’s degrees and a PhD. Yet if there were ever a college course in car seat installation, both of us would fail miserably.

So when our daughter, almost two, reached the height and weight limits to move from rear to forward facing, I knew it was time to call upon the experts. Luckily, this past Labor Day, our friendly Chicago Police Department conducted a free car seat clinic. Officer Dan Krang, a police officer with the 17th district and a certified car seat safety expert, kindly re-installed our little girl’s carseat the right way, and for that, I couldn’t be more thankful.

Here are a few notes on car seat safety, from the USAA Educational Foundation:

  1. Your child’s car seat should fit tightly into your vehicle and not move more than one inch from side to side and front to back.
  2. Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they are two years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
  3. Harness straps should be snug, straight and flat. Harness chest straps should be fastened at the middle of the chest and level with the armpits.
  4. Children should never wear backpacks in the vehicle as backpacks can limit the effectiveness of restraint systems.
  5. All children younger than 13 should be seated in a rear seat, wearing their seatbelts.

Do you want an expert to take a look and make sure that your children’s car seats are installed safely, too? Check out this the link above for upcoming carseat safety check clinics or, if you are city-based, contact Jean Maroney of the CPD Protector’s Program at (312)745-4444 or your local CPD District station.

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