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Each year, thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different seats on the market, many parents find this overwhelming. If you are expectant parents, give yourselves enough time to learn how to properly install the car seat in your car before your baby is born to ensure a safe ride home from the hospital. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and SafeKids.org the following tips are very helpful when installing a new car seat.

Top Tips about Car Seat Safety

  1. Buying the right car seat. Your baby needs to ride in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until 2 or more years. When your child has outgrown that seat, you are ready for a forward-facing car seat.
  2. Installing your car seat. You’ll need to decide on using either the seat belt or lower anchors to secure your car seat. Both are safe, but don’t use them both at the same time. Once your child is forward facing, it is important to use the tether with the seat belt or lower anchors.
  3. Getting the right fit. A properly fitted harness gives the best possible protection for your child.
  4. When to change your car seat. Look on the car seat label to make sure your child is still within the weight, height and age limits for that seat.

Remember, the back seat is the safest place for children younger than age 13.

If you have questions about child passenger safety laws or need help installing a car seat, participate in a local car seat clinic or inspection event. You can also check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for help finding a car seat inspection station.