General Safety and Car Seat Installation Tips

By: Allana Pinkerton, Certified CPST and Global Safety Advocate for diono

Did you know every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash? As September 17th kicks off Child Passenger Safety Week and September 23rd marks National Seat Check Saturday we wanted to share some tips on car seat safety.

Check List for Proper Installation
1. Read the manuals for the car seat and vehicle. Pay close attention to warnings, expiration dates
and registration procedures.
2. Watch car seat manufacturer installation videos on their website. Always use a reputable source
to get more information on installations.
3. Make sure the car seat can be installed with the LATCH system and seat belt individually. Many
car seats have weight limitations on the LATCH system and you will need to install with the seat
belt eventually.
4. Place seat belt or LATCH strap through the proper belt path. There is only one for infant car
seats and two for convertible car seats. Convertibles have a rear-facing and a forward-facing belt
path. Forward-facing Combination seats have a forward-facing belt path only.
5. Be sure seat belt is in locked mode if using vehicle belt. The seat belt will most likely lock at the
retractor or at the latch plate.
6. Pull LATCH or seat belt webbing tight.
7. Check for tight fit at the belt path, only. Car seat should move less than one inch in either
Securing Child in the Car Seat
1. Place harness strap in the correct position. Harness straps for a rear-facing child should be
placed at the shoulders or coming from just below. Forward-facing is at or just above the
2. Pull the harness straps snug and comfortable so you cannot pinch the webbing when grasping at
the collar bone. The straps should lay flat on the child and not be twisted. Harness straps should
be comfortably snug.
3. The chest clip is a positioning device to help keep the straps on the child’s shoulders. Place the
chest clip at arm pit level.
4. If you are using an infant car seat, check the manual for the correct position of the carrier
handle when traveling in the car.
General Safety Tips
1. Choose a car seat that fits your child and vehicle correctly. Choose a seat you will use correctly
every ride.
2. #LookforBaby may sound silly, but we are all living more distracted lives these days. Too many
children are unintentionally being left in hot cars. It can happen to anyone. Keep your purse or
phone on the floor in the back seat. When you reach your destination you are more likely to
remember to get those items which will help you keep an eye on baby before you lock the door.
3. Check the car seat installation before every ride. Just give it a tug at the belt path to be sure it is
still secured to the seat belt or with the lower anchors.
4. Don’t transition children too soon. Keep them rear-facing as long as possible. Keep them in a 5
point harness and do not skip booster stage for older children. Some children do not fit in the
adult seat belt until age 12.
5. Set a good example for your kids and make sure all passengers are properly buckled so they stay
safe as well.
6. Register the car seat so you can be notified in case or any recalls.
7. Do not use the car seat if it has been in a severe crash or following the instruction manual
8. Do not buy a used car seat unless you know the history, how it was stored and if has not
9. Follow the instruction manual for proper washing instructions. Never soak harness straps or use
abrasive cleaners on any part of the car seat.

Allana Pinkerton, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician
Allana Pinkerton is the Global Safety Advocate for diono. She began her career in Child Passenger Safety as a National Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2001 and advanced into the position of a National Instructor in 2002. In 2004, she founded a non-profit organization, Sit Tight, which provided education and free car seats to underserve communities.

As the Global Safety Advocate, she facilitates educating the staff, consumers and the media about car seats. Allana works closely with the marketing team, educating at consumer and industry trade shows, as well as writing blogs on CPS issues. She is called upon to work with engineering and product development team on current and new products. As diono expands across the globe, Allana continues to expand her role assisting the diono European and China teams.

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