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woman shopping for car seatThink of the millions of miles traveled every day across America by vehicles carrying babies in car safety seats. Now consider this – research has shown that nearly half of all car seats are installed incorrectly and that puts children at-risk for serious injury or death in a vehicle crash.

Today’s car safety seat is more sophisticated than the one you rode in years ago. The connection between the vehicle and the seat is stronger now but installation and use may be confusing for a first-time parent or a caregiver such as a grandparent.

Making sure that a car safety seat works properly begins with reading the manual to learn how to route the belts and secure your child in the seat. A car safety seat is attached to lower anchors that are built into the vehicle seating. A strap at the top connects to a tether anchor located above or behind the vehicle’s back seat and can be used when the car seat is in a forward-facing position.

It’s important that you register your car seat with the manufacturer in case of a safety recall. Complete the postage-paid registration card that came with the seat or register your seat online to ensure that you’ll be notified if a defect is discovered so the seat can be repaired or replaced to keep your child safe.

Hospitals require that your baby be discharged to a vehicle with a car safety seat and your nurse may request that you bring in the car seat for inspection before you go home. When it’s time to leave the hospital, your nurse will help you secure your child in the seat using the correct strap placement so your baby will be snug, but comfortable.

If you already have a car seat in your vehicle, you can visit a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to double-check that it’s properly installed and you're using it correctly. Use this search tool to find a car seat inspection station near you. Many communities are also sponsoring car seat check-up events in connection with Child Passenger Safety Week September 20-26.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax