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5 Common Car Seat Installation Mistakes

As a parent, it is important that you find a car seat which fits your child. However, the best or most expensive car seat won’t work to keep your child safe if it isn’t installed correctly.

Seat belts and car seats are important because they:
  • reduce the seriousness of injuries,
  • prevent the child from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash, and
  • prevent injury to other passengers (an unbuckled child could be hurled forward in a crash, injuring front seated passengers).

Here are 5 most common car installation mistakes you need to refrain from making:

1. Wrong harness slots used: 
For rear-facing seats, be sure to use the slots located at or below the child’s shoulders. For front-facing seats use the slots located at or above the child’s shoulders. 

2. Wrong chest clip position:
The correct position is at armpit level. It should never be positioned above the child’s stomach.

3. Loose car seat (after installation): 
The seat should be securely fastened and not be able to move around. 

4. Loose harness strap:
There should be no slack when you pinch the strap at the child’s shoulders.

5. Improper seatbelt placement:
The lap belt should lie snugly across the upper thighs, and not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, and not the neck or face.

Note: Remember that the best car seat is the one that fits your child, your car and is easy to use correctly and safely all the time.

Source: Western Cape Government, SA

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