(HealthDay News) -- Use of a car seat can save a child's life, but it must be installed correctly.
The U.S. National Safety Council offers this checklist for making sure that a car seat is properly located and secured:
- Make sure the car seat is installed in the backseat -- never in the front.
- Children less than 1 year old or less than 20 pounds should ride facing the back of the car; older or heavier children can ride facing the front.
- Make sure the safety belt is securely holding the seat. Ensure that the seat is snugly strapped in and that the belt has been placed correctly.
- The harness must fit snugly, too. The clip should fit at about the level of your child's armpits.
- If your child is 40 pounds or under, continue using the car seat. Switch to a booster seat once your child weighs more than 40 pounds. The child probably will need a booster seat until he or she is about 4'9" tall and weighs about 80 pounds.