Installing a Convertible Car Seat Properly
- It’s time to move up to a rear-facing convertible car seat when your baby outgrows their infant rear-facing car seat. This is usually around the age of 1.
- Make sure the recline is at the proper level for your seat. Read the instructions as this can vary by seat.
- If your seat is a larger seat, or your backseat is small (cab of a truck or something like that), be sure you can pass your hand between the front seat and the back of the car seat. They should NOT be touching. If it’s behind the driver and this makes it uncomfortable or impossible for the driver to drive safely, move the seat to the center (attach with seat belt if there are no center seat dedicated lower anchors) or to behind the passenger seat.
- Installation is the same as for the rear-facing infant car seat except you are no longer attaching a car seat base. Instead, you are now installing the entire car seat into the car.
- Recline the seat to make space to install the seat easier and so that you can see the lower anchors better.
- Find the 2 inch bar, make sure the lower anchors are not upside down and attach them to the bar. Pull on it to make sure it is secure. Do the same on the other side.
- Push from behind the seat with your body and into the seat with one hand while simultaneously pulling back on the strap to tighten.
- Pull the seat back (that you reclined earlier) into it’s upright position to further secure the car seat into place.
- Check your installation by pulling on the seat. It should not move more than in inch from side to side or front to back.
- Can I put my baby in a rear-facing seat past the age of 2? YES! AND, it is recommended. What about their legs? Your child can cross their legs, hang them off the side or do whatever they want with them… the seat will still be safer than a front-facing seat. You can keep your child rear-facing until they outgrow the specifications of their car seat.
We all want to keep our children safe at all times. Driving is the most dangerous activity we partake in on a daily basis, but 4 out of 5 child passenger restraints are used incorrectly. I’m happy to partner with Hawaii Pacific Health and Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women & Children to present an entire vlog series starting with infant car seats and working our way up to booster seats. How to attach your child, how to install the seat in the car and expert tips on how to keep your kids safe.
This is such IMPORTANT information – not to be dramatic – but the kind that saves lives! I learned SO much from Lisa Dau, Kapi’olani Medical Center’s Injury Prevention Specialist… things I didn’t know… things I hadn’t been doing. I am one of those 4 in 5 people!
On Oahu, you can make an appointment at Health Connections to get a FREE car seat check — Just call, 877-709-WELL (9355). There are other events across the state on Kaua’i, Big Island and Maui, plus information on how you can get checked on Molokai and Lana’i just click HERE for those details.
More Car Seat Blogs (Vlogs) — List will be updated as I complete each video in the series