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Video:How to Install an Infant Car Seat

with Lorrie From Safe Kids USA

a car seat will save your infants life in the event of an accident, but only if it's installed correctly. See how to install an infant car seat the correct way.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Install an Infant Car Seat

Hi, I’m Lorrie with Safe Kids USA and I’m the technical advisor there. I’m here with About.com today to talk about safely installing your infant seat.

Reasons to Use a Car Seat

It’s important to know that car seats actually protect children very well in car crashes. Car crashes are the leading cause of death of children between the ages of 2 and 14, we want to make sure that you’re confident that every time that your child’s in the car they’re getting a safe ride each and every time.

Where to Put the Car Seat

To be sure we’ve picked the right location in the car for the car seat and that we’re using the car seat correctly, we want to pull out the vehicles owner’s user manual and also the instruction booklet for the car seat to be sure that everything is compatible. There are three possible locations in this backseat where a car seat can fit.

Ways to Install a Car Seat

There’s two ways to install a car seat in the car using either the seatbelt system or using what we call lower anchors. You’ll notice there are two little markers here that show us that there are bars underneath the seat where I can hook a car seat in. And the car seats are equipped with special hooks and the car is equipped with a special bar. We do not use both systems together at the same time. If you want to put your child in the middle you never use the inside ones from these two to make one for this seating position.

Lock the Seat Belt Tight

Between the seatbelt and the anchors, neither one is better than the other. It’s whichever one works in your vehicle with your car seat for your child. The most important thing we need to do is to make sure that our seatbelt is locked tight, so that we don’t want our car seat to move more than one inch side to side, or front to back.

We buckle it, and then what we’re going to do in this car is pull this belt all the way out, till we hear a snap. And then we’re going to feed the belt back in, where it’s locking every inch. And, at one point we’re going to test the belt to make sure it’s in a locked position. So that when the car comes to a sudden stop the car seat still does not move, it’s always in a locked position. We don’t want our car seat to move more then one inch side to side or front to back.

Run Seat Belt Through the Car Seat

We’re going to take the seat belt itself, and we’re going to place it through the car seat and then buckle it and pull tight on it, so that we now have a locked belt, and the car seat is not moving more than one inch side to side or front to back. You may want to switch this over and put it into the locked position. But this particular car seat has a lock off and has locked the belt by itself. So, check to see what your instructions say about the appropriate way to lock your belt.

Infants Ride Facing the Rear

Infants always ride n a rear facing position. And it’s so much better for infants to ride for a long period of time, rear facing. Most of the car seats now can be used rear facing up to 25 – 30 – 35 and even in some cases 40 pounds. This is an infant only base and the carrier actually fits right inside here and you leave the base in the car and you pull the carrier in and out every time you take your child in and out of the car.

Install at the Correct Angle

So, the base is very important to make sure that it’s at the correct angle. Many of the car seat bases that are out there today have a piece that you can use to adjust the angle to make sure that the baby’s head stays back at about a 45 degree angle. We want to make sure that the babies head does not slip forward and go on to the chest. We want to keep that airway open so that the baby can breathe.

So, we’re going to put the carrier in and we’re going to listen for the snap, to make sure that it’s actually anchored into the car seat base, and then we’re going to test it to be sure that it stays in. And then we’ll check to see with the baby’s angle to be sure that the baby is at the appropriate 45 or no more than 45 degrees.

Installing Car Seat With Anchors

All the car seats have these special two clips on them or two feet on them, depending on what the car seat looks like. That you actually buckle into a bar that’s built between these 2 seats, what we call the bite.

We’re going to buckle this in, there it is, so the real trick was to push the cushion up. We’ve hooked in at the lower bars that are at the cushion and we’ve attached it at one side and then the other side and then tightened it, to be sure that we get no movement, one inch side to side or front to back.

Car Seat Essentials

So, remember that when we’re installing an infant seat we want to make sure that we use a backseat position, because we’re away from airbags. We want to make sure that the child is rearing facing so that they get the full benefit of the car seat behind their back and shoulders and hips and we really want to be sure that every adult in the car and other children in the car are buckled so that everybody is safe in the vehicle, not just the baby in the car seat.

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