Child Safety Seat Inspections

Child Safety Seat Inspections
Free Child Safety Seat Inspections
Seventy-three percent of car seats are not used or
installed correctly, so before you hit the road, check
your car seat. The Lake Metroparks Ranger
Department has a certified technician who can
discuss and demonstrate proper harnessing and
installation techniques for both rear-facing and
forward-facing child safety seats and will make sure
you know how to install the child safety seat in your
vehicle. Emphasis is also placed on booster seats for
those children who are too big for a harnessed child
safety seat, but too small to fit in a vehicle seat
belt. These free inspections are conducted by
appointment only and can be scheduled with Ranger
Brandy Hanusosky at 440-358-7290 or
[email protected]
At right: properly secured rear-facing and forwardfacing car seats.
Car Seat Safety Guidelines
Correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.
Select a car seat based on your child's age and size, choose a seat that fits in your
vehicle and use it every time.
Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer's instructions (check height and
weight limits) and read the vehicle owner's manual on how to install the car seat
using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible (as long as
the child fits within the manufacturer's height and weight requirements).
Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.
Obtain a used car seat only if you know its full crash history. This means you must get
it from someone you know, not from a thrift store or over the Internet. Once a car
seat has been in a crash or is expired or broken, it needs to be replaced.
Rear-facing Infant Seats: Birth to 12 Months
Any child younger than 12 months of age should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
There are different types of rear-facing car seats:
• Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing.
• Convertible and all-in-one car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for
the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing longer.
Convertible/Forward-facing Car Seats
1 to 3 Years
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, as it is the best way to keep him/her safe.
Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he/she reaches the top height or
weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rearfacing car seat, he/she is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and
4 to 7 Years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether until he/she reaches
the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child
outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but
still in the back seat.
Booster Seat: 8 to 12 Years
Children seated in a booster seat in the back seat of the car are 45% less likely to be injured
in a crash than children using a seat belt alone. When your child is seated in the booster
seat, make sure the lap and shoulder belts fit. The lap belt should fit low across the hips and
the shoulder belt across the shoulder. Do not place the shoulder belt under the child’s arm
or behind the child’s back. Generally, kids need to use a booster until they are at least 4 feet
9 inches tall and weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. For most kids, they will be between
ages 8 to 12 years old.
Seat Belt: 8 to 12 Years
Safety belt fit test:
• The child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat when his or her back and
bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
• The vehicle lap belt must lie across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
• The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or
• Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there. When
adults wear seat belts, kids wear seat belts. So be a good example and buckle up for
every ride. Be sure everyone in the vehicle buckles up too.
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