The Importance of Proper Car Seat Installation

Keeping a child healthy and happy is extremely important to parents all across the Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas area. This not only means proper nourishment, rest and love. This also means proper car seat installation. The Plano obstetricians at Women’s Specialists of Plano understand how important it is to have a properly installed car seat, no matter the child’s age. A 3-in-1 car seat is a popular choice for countless parents because many believe they are all the same. Unfortunately that is not true. Like all other car seats on the market today, it is critical parents know the ins-and-outs of 3-in-1 seats.

Proper Car Seat Installation Prevents Injuries

Almost all new parents struggle with a car seat at one time or another. Car seat installation always looks so easy on TV and when friends and family perform the motions, but in reality, it can make new parents question their own intelligence.

Those few minutes a new mom or dad (or both) struggles with installing a car seat properly means potentially saving their child’s life if an accident occurs. Did you know car accidents are a leading cause of death among small children? While that is alarming to think about, a car seat can reduce the risk of death during an accident by 54%. When looking at that percentage, parents can see why proper car seat installation is a must.

Well-fitted car seats, including the popular 3-in-1 car seats, can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury, or even death, in newborns, toddlers and young children. Many parents are not aware that a young child’s body is composed of mainly soft cartilage that turns to bone over time. This makes the body more vulnerable to injuries, especially the organs since they are not protected as well as in adults with fully matured bones.

Simple Rules for 3-in-1 Car Seats

Are you one of the many parents fooled that all 3-in1 car seats are the same? Do not feel bad. You are not alone.

It is important to note that there are two specific types of 3-in-1 car seats – one CAN be a rear-facing car seat, while the other model is ONLY forward-facing. It is also extremely important to understand the height, weight and age limits for each of the three modes. They are almost never the same across the various models.

According to The Car Seat Lady, a 3-in-1 car seat that CAN be rear-facing meets these requirements:

  1. Rear-facing (5 point harness)
  2. Forward-facing (5 point harness)
  3. High back booster (vehicle’s shoulder and lap belt)

Common examples include the Graco Milestone, Evenflo Symphony and Safety 1st Grow and Go.

A forward-facing ONLY 3-in-1 car seat meets these requirements:

  1. Forward-facing (5 point harness)
  2. High back booster (vehicle’s shoulder and lap belt)
  3. Backless booster (vehicle’s shoulder and lap belt)

Common examples include the Evenflo Platinum Evolve, Graco Nautilus and Harmony Defender.

If a parent purchases a 3-in-1 car seat for their child, it is critical they know the limits to the seat before use of each mode.

No matter the model of car seat, these car seat safety rules should always be followed:

  • Do not rush your child to a forward-facing car seat
  • Put car seats in the back seat of the car only
  • The car seat’s base should be fully secure and flush against the seat. If it rocks, it is not properly installed.
  • The straps should fit snuggly against the child’s body

For more resources on proper car seat installation, including a 3-in-1 car seat model, please contact the Plano obstetricians at Women’s Specialists of Plano, serving the communities of Plano, Frisco and Dallas, Texas.