Health Tip: Check Your Child's Car Seat

Make sure it's secured correctly

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(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.

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