Don’t Make These 5 Common Child Car Seat Installation Mistakes

All parents want to keep their young children safe when riding in the car. However, many children are at an increased risk of injury without their parents even knowing.

Child restraint systems, which are meant to improve safety, are often used incorrectly. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) shows that nearly half (about 46%) of car seats and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness!

Avoiding these common car seat mistakes can help you, as a parent or caregiver, ensure that young children are safely and properly secured to reduce the risk of injury.

#1. The Loose Car Seat Mistakes

A properly-installed car seat should not be able to move back and forth much, yet one of the most common mistakes made is not installing the car seat tightly enough. To check this, try the inch test. Once the car seat is installed, tug at the bottom where it touches the real seat. If it moves more than an inch forward and backward or side to side, it probably needs to be tightened.

#2. The Puffy Jacket

A pillowy jacket may protect your child from the cold, but when it’s worn in a car seat, it can actually put them at unnecessary risk. All the layers make it difficult, if not impossible, to properly fasten your child in with the straps. It is much safer to buckle them in without layers on and then cover them with a blanket or coat.

#3. The Secondhand Seat

While you can save some cash by getting a used car seat or booster seat, it’s hard to be sure whether you will get the same quality or standard of safety as you would when purchasing a new one. It may be expired, have been in an accident already, or be prematurely worn due to weather conditions. It’s better to be safe than sorry and go with a new seat when possible.

#4. The Early Transitions

Transitioning children to the next level of car seat or booster seat is a common mistake made by adults. For instance, a parent may prematurely turn the seat around from rear to front-facing before the child is of appropriate height, weight, or age, or a parent may put their child in a booster seat too early.

#5. The Ignored Car Seat Expiration Date Mistakes

Many parents believe that car seats last forever. However, even these devices come with expiration dates that you should always be cautious of. Most car seats last anywhere between six and 10 years, but you can usually double-check your specific car seat in the original manual, labeling stickers, or online.

If you are unsure what the legal car seat requirements are for your child, you can read our recent blog to learn more about Mississippi car seat laws. Additionally, if your child is injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Chatham Gilder Howell Pittman are ready to protect your family’s rights to full compensation.

Turn to a team you can trust will always put your family first. Contact our firm today to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation case review.