Child Restraint Tips and Information
- Today’s car seats are safe and effective if used correctly. Every car seat on the market in the United States has passed the same rigorous crash tests required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- If you’re following manufacturer’s instructions, you’re giving your baby the safest ride possible with current technology. Make sure your infant car seat is less than six years old, has never been in a crash, is reclining at about a 45-degree angle in the car, is secured tightly in the back seat and the harness straps are adjusted correctly for your baby.
- Any car seat made after 2002 can be installed either with safety belts or the LATCH system in a vehicle made in 2002 or later. Use safety belts or LATCH for an infant, whichever you prefer, but not both. If you’re worried about the performance of LATCH, use the safety belt.
- We want to see the technology continue to improve, but we don’t want parents to lose confidence in their car seats today — the best protection available. Federal standards do not call for side-impact crash tests at this time. The International Standards Organization is drafting global standards that will include side-impact tests; meanwhile, the highest standard in the world is a side-impact crash test at 19 mph that is mandatory in Australia. Consumers Union tested car seats at twice that speed.
- Read the instructions and follow them carefully. Even if you don’t usually read the instructions for other products, read your car seat owner’s manual cover to cover. Also read the section of your vehicle owner’s manual that deals with occupant protection.
- If you still have questions, call us. Safe Kids-Rowan can refer you to a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician or a car seat inspection station for free hands-on training. Call Safe Kids-Rowan to make an appointment for a car seat checkup.