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How to Keep Kids Safe in a Car Seat

Just because your child is buckled in doesn't mean they are safe. Follow this advice to increase their level of safety.


  • Step 1: Choose a front or rear facing car seat. Check your state's guidelines to determine whether your child meets the age, height, and weight requirements for a forward-facing car seat.
  • Step 2: When you strap the child into the seat, pull the straps tight. You should only be able to fit one finger between the strap and your child.
  • Step 3: Have the car seat inspected for proper installation. Many auto insurance companies offer free child safety seat inspections.
  • TIP: Your car seat should not move more than 1 inch side to side or front to back.
  • Step 4: Install all car seats in the back seat. Front seat air bags are not designed to protect children and can harm them when deployed.
  • Step 5: Adjust the seat's belts and harnesses to accommodate your child's height and weight.
  • TIP: Children from 40 to 80 pounds should sit in a booster seat.
  • Step 6: Read and follow the instructions that came with the car seat. Most newer vehicles are equipped with a latch system designed to maintain car seat safety.

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