By Cars.com EditorsJuly 19, 2016
About the video
When it comes to child-safety-seat installation and use, there's a good chance that you're doing it wrong, and it's often the little things that lead to misuse. Cars.com’s Jennifer Geiger highlights some of the biggest mistakes.
(upbeat music) Child safety seats are critical to keeping your child safe, but they're not always easy to use. In fact, SafeKids Worldwide says around 73% of car seats are misused or installed incorrectly.
Keep your child safe by avoiding these common car seat mistakes. The car seat harness that doesn't fit your child properly. If your child is in a rear-facing seat, the harness shoulder straps should be at or below shoulder level. In a forward-facing seat, the strap should be at or above the shoulders. The chest clip should always be at armpit level. Check the harness for too much slack by pinching the strap at the shoulders. If you can pinch the webbing, tighten the harness until the straps are snug. Failing to use a forward-facing car seat's tether strap. The strap connects to the vehicle's tether anchor, reducing a child's head movement in a crash by up to eight inches. Unfortunately, they're only used about half the time. Moving your child out of the rear-facing position too soon. Children should remain rear facing until at least age two, or until they outgrow the height or weight limit on their rear-facing car seat. Children are five times safer riding in a rear-facing car seat, than in a forward-facing car seat. Older children can simply cross their legs, or rest them on the seat back to fit comfortably in the rear-facing position. (upbeat music)