Car seats are critical to keeping your child safe, but they can be confusing — there’s a seemingly endless array of sizes and types, and your child will need a few different kinds to make it through childhood safely. It’s no wonder that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, many car seats are installed incorrectly — a terrifying prospect considering NHTSA data shows car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13.
In fact, one NHTSA study determined that as many as four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly, be it from loose latch straps, twisted webbing or using the wrong seat based on a child’s weight and height.
Cars.com’s three certified child passenger safety technicians each spent 40 hours in the classroom learning how to correctly install a car seat. This week is Child Passenger Safety Week, so let’s clear up some common car-seat misconceptions.