Some parents think that carrying a baby in their arms whilst in a car is the safest precaution they could do. This grave misconception has put the lives of babies and young children at risk where they could have been in a safer position.
This is why the use of baby seats in cars has been recognized in safety precautions lists involving car rides. They have been proven to save the lives of toddlers everywhere and car baby seats have indeed become a necessity for families with a vehicle and small children.
However, even with the safety measures that come with using car baby seats, there are still rare occasions where they fail. The biggest contributor to this is the improper installation of the seats and we’re here to address that.
If you’re not sure how to install baby car seats properly, read on this article from Philkotse.com and apply our step by step guide on how to do it.
I. Choose a baby seat
Baby seats would come in different sizes and styles to accommodate kids according to their ages. The category usually starts from infant size and then there’s the baby size and then toddler size - which is usually for kids around 2 years old.
Baby seats would come in different sizes and styles to accommodate kids according to their ages
The baby car seat should always be at the back, if not, at the middle row of seats in a vehicle. Pick a particular seat where you feel you will be most comfortable to put your baby in. Most adults put them in a spot where it’s easy to see from the rearview mirror so they can check on them without looking behind.
Most baby seats available in the market come in two parts: the infant carrier and the base. The base is the part that goes in the selected car seat where the baby carrier is attached. The set should come with the manufacturer’s instructions on how to separate the base from the carrier.
>>> You might like to check out: Choosing the best car seat for your children - 3 advice for Pinoy drivers
II. Installing a Rear-Facing Baby Seat
1. Install the base
Most car seat bases available in the market come with an attached belt along with hooks. These are for latching on the base to the designated area on your chosen seat. Snap these hooks on to the latches on the seats and tighten according to your preferences.
Make sure that you tighten the seat’s straps evenly on every direction and not just on one side. Also, try tugging at the seat base in every direction to make sure that it’s not too tight at one side and too loose on the other. This will make sure that it won’t topple over and drop the baby.
2. Use the seat belt if there’s no designated spot for the seat base
If your car is manufactured without latches for the baby seat, you can alternatively use the seat belt. There should be rectangular holes under the base and the seat belt should fit snugly through them. Thread the belt through and buckle the seat properly.
Make sure there are no twists on the belt strap to maximize effectiveness. If you are not sure what to do, refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging, you may also ask the seller how to install it. Proper installation is vital to securing your young passenger and keeping him safe in the event of a vehicle accident.
Infant car seat installation
>>> Read more posts related to safe driving tips with kids:
- 8 surviving tips when going on a road trip with your kids
- Car seat law Philippines: Republic Act No. 11229 begins at February 22, 2019
3. Fit the baby carrier on to the base
Once you’re happy with how the base sits on your rear car seat, it’s now time to attach the baby carrier on to the base. This should be fairly task and you would just need to do the opposite of what you did on step 2. You can put and remove the baby carrier a few times to make sure that what you’re doing is correct.
4. Check if it should or shouldn’t be reclined
These seats usually have an option for you to recline them at certain angles. This helps the baby feel more comfortable and helps him enjoy the trip rather than stay in one position for the whole journey. For infants, a more reclined position is suitable since they can breathe comfortably this way.
However, older babies may want to have a view of the window or want contact with other passengers in the vehicle. Most baby car seats have a level indicator on them that states the angle that’s most appropriate for the baby’s age. This is usually adjustable by turning a knob until you get the desired angle.
III. Installing a Front-Facing Car Seat
1. Use the Seatbelt
2. Anchor the baby seat
Most baby seats and carriers available in the market will have a tether attached to the end of a strap for added safety. This should be latched on a metal piece at the back of the chosen car seat where you attached the baby seat base. If the strap of the tether is too loose, you will need to tighten it until it can hold the baby seat in place. If you can’t find the anchor on your car’s seat, you may need to consult your manual.
Most baby seats and carriers available in the market will have a tether attached to the end of a strap for added safety.
After securing the base and the seat, make sure that your baby is buckled down safely. The two straps should be over the shoulder level with a snug but comfy fit. These should not be too tight as driving motion may cause friction and hurt the baby’s armpits.
Also, make sure that the lap harness is also buckled and that it’s not too loose or tight. To make sure that your baby is buckled in properly, try to pinch at the strap that’s holding him to the baby seat. If you can still pinch the strap up to half an inch, tighten it until there’s only about a quarter of an inch to make sure he’s fitted snugly.
>>> Click here to get more useful tips and advice for car owners.