Suburban Fiat USA – Make Sure Kids’ Car Seats are Installed Properly

Safety belt safety

Suburban Fiat USA believes keeping our kids safe during summer road trips has to be a priority. Whether you’re spending the day at the beach or traveling the highway to a vacation destination, protect your kids by practicing proper car seat safety. Suburban Fiat USA recommends always using the right safety seat for your child’s height and weight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 percent for infants, and by 54 percent for toddlers ages one to four years.”

Choose the correct seat for your child. In general, kids younger than two years old should be in rear-facing car seats. However, it’s best to factor in your child’s weight and height. Always check the seat’s owner’s manual for weight and height restrictions. Children between the ages of two and four, weighing less than 18 kilos or 40 pounds may fit into a front-facing car seat, but should be buckled in using the harness system.

Booster seats often are recommended for kids weighing more than 18 kilos (40 pounds), typically between the ages of four through eight years old. The CDC does not recommend moving kids from a booster seat until the child reaches at least 144.78 centimeters or 4-feet, 9-inches in height. However, if the seat belt still does not fit properly at that height, keep your child in the booster seat for the best safety.

When installing the car seat, the seat belt has to be tight. There should never be more than 2.5 centimeters (one-inch) of wiggle for belt, states the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Check the tightness of the seat belt every time you place your child in the seat. Always use the tether straps for a front-facing car seat—follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your vehicle when installing.

Safety elements such as the Universal Anchorage System (UAS) and locking clips have been designed to provide the maximum safety for your child. Use these devices to secure the seat in place, reducing the risk for accidents. When adjusting the chest clip, it should be positioned in the center of the chest, level with the child’s armpits.

When purchasing a car seat in Canada, look for seats with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (CMVSS) label. U.S. residents should choose seats that meet the Federal Safety Standards set by the NHTSA.