Child Safety Seats from US Department of Transportation Guidelines

Body: 

 

Introduction

 

THE BIG PICTURE

 

Which child is buckled correctly?

If you guessed the one in the middle, then you’re right. The harness straps are flat, snug and in position, and the chest clip is at the proper mid-chest, armpit level. 

The other photos illustrate some common mistakes that compromise protection and result in almost 80% of children being improperly restrained.  

  • Upper left: The child is too small to be in a vehicle lap/shoulder belt. The shoulder belt is under the child’s arm, and the lap belt is resting on the child’s abdomen. 
  • Upper right: Harness straps are too high, loose and the chest clip is too low. 
  • Bottom right: Harness straps are loose and twisted and the chest clip is disconnected. 
  • Bottom left: Although the lap belt is positioned correctly, the vehicle shoulder belt is under the child’s arm.

 

 

Air Bags
INCORRECT EXAMPLES

 

TAKE A BACK SEAT TO AIR BAGS

  Your child should be in the back seat. This infant seat is in the air bag deployment zone.

  An infant in a rear-facing child restraint should NEVER be positioned in the path of a frontal air bag.

 

 

THE DANGER ZONE

  Rear-facing child is positioned in front of the passenger air bag deployment zone.

  Seat is resting on the dash/air bag.

  Child is also incorrectly secured:

  Harness chest clip is too low (should be at armpit level).

  Harness straps are positioned too high (should be at, or below, infant’s shoulders).

  Air bags can cause serious injury or death to children, especially infants in rear-facing child seats.

 

 

CORRECT EXAMPLES FOR
REAR-FACING INFANT SEATS

 

WELL-CONNECTED

Harness chest clip is correctly positioned at the child’s mid-chest or armpit level. 

Harness straps are snug and straight. 

Rear-facing harness straps should be positioned at, or slightly below, the child’s shoulders.

A harness chest clip should be positioned at the child’s mid-chest or armpit level. This keeps the shoulder straps in the correct position.

 

WELL-COVERED

Blanket is correctly placed over both the internal harness straps and the child.

A blanket should never be placed between the child and the harness straps, or underneath or behind the child.

 

IN POSITION

Harness straps and chest clip are correctly positioned.

Blanket covering child is correctly positioned.
Rolled towels are placed on both sides of the child for proper position

 

ON A ROLL

A rolled towel or foam noodle at the crack of the vehicle seat helps position the infant seat at the correct 45-degree angle (check the manufacturer’s recommendation for the correct angle).

 

CLOSE THE GAP

 

A washcloth helps fill the space between the restraint buckle and the child’s groin area.
Harness straps are snug and straight.

 

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