If you've never installed a child's car seat, you might think the process is difficult to screw up. You'd be wrong. Installation errors in child restraint systems are a very common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, three-quarters of children ride in car seats that either don't fit them or that are installed incorrectly. There are actually quite a few ways that a car seat can be installed incorrectly. Factor in the fact that cars are not all set up the same way for car seats and it is clear why installation is not so simple.
There is an event in Jersey City tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where experts will be available to help with car seat installation and to answer questions about car seat safety. The event is being put on by the Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas and the NHTSA. Technicians will be on hand at the Target Shopping Center at 100 14th Street. Many such events are held all across the country to help people overcome the difficulties with child restraint systems.
If you don't have time to attend that event or if it is not convenient, there are certain installation errors you can look for in your child seat. Among the most common installation errors are seats that are attached too loosely. Other things to look for are seats that are attached by both the seat belt and the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) systems and twisted lower anchor straps.
Installing a child safety seat can be a frustrating and difficult experience. Loose installation is a problem because tightening the mechanism properly is not easy. It takes a surprising amount of effort to do correctly on some vehicles. If you get the chance, you should have your child safety seat checked by a professional. The New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety offers a number of opportunities to have your seat checked free of charge.
Source: NJ.com, "Keeping kids safe: Car seat safety check/installation Saturday," by Ron Zeitlinger, 7 May 2015