Buckle Up Your Sprout –
Safety Tips About Car Seats
So you’re preparing for the arrival of your sprout and you
realize that you need a car seat. We at LAPregnancy.com are
here to help with rough guidelines for protecting your sprout in
The guidelines for car seat usage is as follows:
infants under 20 lbs and 1 year old:
a. you will need to have a rear-facing infant seat or
b. straps must be placed in the lower slots, at or below should
toddlers 20-40 lbs and older
than 1 year:
(since sprouts grow so fast)
a. use forward-facing booster seat with car’s lap and shoulder
b. place shoulder strap over shoulder, snug across chest
c. place lap belt low and tight on hips, not over stomach
To help you get off to a safe start, safety experts, along with
Graco Children’s Products, offer the following installation
1. Do your homework. Make sure the infant car seat
you choose is the proper fit for your car. Test it in your car
before you make a purchase. Most retail outlets will allow you
to take the seat out to your car to ensure it is the correct
2. After making your selection, read your safety seat
and vehicle owner’s manual to make sure you understand the
mechanics of installing the seat. If the information isn’t
clear, call the automaker, the safety-seat manufacturer, or
The safest place to install a car seat is in the center of
the rear seat or in the center seat in a van or station wagon.
Never place a rear-facing seat in the front seat of a car
equipped with an air bag.
Make sure the car’s seat belt is threaded through the correct
seat belt path. All new car seats that are equipped with a
harness come with a locking clip. To determine if you need to
use the locking clip, read your vehicle owner’s manual and your
safety seat manual.
5. Check to make sure the seat is secure and resists
side-to-side motion. To assure your seat is secure, place
your hands on either side of the seat at the opening for the
belt path and attempt to move the seat forward or side-to-side.
If the seat is loose, kneel into the base or put your body
weight into the seat and then secure it. A correctly installed
seat will not move forward or to either side.
6. Make sure you know how the harness system works.
The harness clip should be positioned at armpit level. To make
sure the harness straps are tight enough, remove the child’s
bulky clothing and make sure you can fit no more than an index
finger between the straps and your child’s shoulders.
Need More Help?
For more information about child safety seats, safety laws, seat
installation tips and safety seat checkups, contact the
SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.: (310) 222-6860 or (800) 745-SAFE or visit
National Safety Belt Coalition (part of the National Safety
If you call any of the agencies or organizations for information
or help on installing a safety seat, you’ll need to provide the
your name, mailing address; age and weight of child;
manufacturer name, model name, manufacturer model number and
manufacturer date for each safety seat; vehicle make, model,
year and number of doors and air bags.
Like other consumer products, child safety seats are
occasionally recalled. Send in your safety seat registration
card to be sure you’ll be notified. You can also call the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Auto Safety
Hotline (888) 327-4236 – or check
www.safekids.org for updated product recall information.
Need help in
choosing a car seat?
Talk to your
retailer and other big bellies about the variety of car seats