Car seats are important investments that will protect your baby and keep them safe while in a vehicle. If you cannot afford a car seat contact the social service department at the hospital and they may be able to assist you with obtaining one. Refrain from using a car seat that is damaged or worn in the belt or seat area. There will be a warranty card included in all new car seats, it is important to mail this in case there is damage to the seat.

There are car seats available in several different sizes and shapes so it is important to have a seat that is suitable for your baby’s weight and size. Before installing the seat in your vehicle, completely read the manufactures instructions to be sure it is placed in the correct position. They are not difficult to install, but taking your time installing the seat will ensure that it has been secured in the vehicle.

The best place to put the child car seat is in the middle of the back seat, if there is a seat belt available in this location. A car seat should never be placed in a front seat because of the air bags. An infant seat will be designed for rear facing and should be used this way until your child is approximately two years old.

After determining the car seat is tight and secure in the vehicle, place your baby in the seat and buckle the harness attached to the car seat. The harness should be snug against the baby but, not too tight. A good check point is to slip two fingers between the harness and the baby. Your fingers should fit in the area without forcing and they should not have excess wiggle room.

Check the tightness of the harness each time you place the baby in the car seat. The harness will have to be adjusted often. Check all straps to ensure they fit your baby as they grow to prevent the shoulder straps from becoming too tight as well. As your child grows it will be necessary to replace car seats with one according to their size. Many models will have an age as well as a weight limit so use the size best fitting to your child.

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