Simple visuals will help you know when to adjust the fasteners and move them into different slots in their car seat or to get a larger car seat. Follow these simple steps to ensure your child’s safety while riding in a motor vehicle.
Step 1 – Position the straps on a rear-facing car seat so the straps are even with or just below your child’s shoulders, approximately 1 inch. If the straps are above your child’s shoulders, move the straps down an opening in the back of the car seat. If the straps are too low, move the straps up one opening in the back of the car seat. Car seats are equipped with three to five strap slots. The lowest slots are for newborns. To move the straps, they must be disconnected from the front harness. Pull the straps through the slots and move them to the appropriate position. Reattach the straps to the harness per the manufacturer’s instructions. Please note, there is no specific age limitation for strap placement. Straps must be adjusted to how your child grows.
Step 2 – Check the location of the straps on your child’s shoulders. Proper fitting straps will be positioned approximately 1-inch below your child’s shoulders. If the straps are too high, your child is at risk of sliding sideways in the car seat. If the straps are too low, they will fall off your child’s shoulders thus preventing the car seat from working properly. Properly fit straps help your child to breath appropriately along with saving them from harm if their is a collision.
Step 3 – Pinch the fabric of the harness between your fingers. If you are able to pinch the harness, it is too loose. Adjust the straps so the fabric fits snugly on your child’s torso.
Step 4 – Position the retainer clip so it is at armpit level directly across your child’s breastbone. This positioning assures your child is positioned in the straps correctly. If the retainer clip is too high or too low, move the straps in the car seat.
Step 5 – Move the straps to the highest set of slots on the car seat when turning it face forward. If the strap slots are above your child’s shoulders they are not ready to be turned around to face the front. The top slots must be used when a child faces forward for optimum safety. The top slots are reinforced and will not break through in case of an accident. The lower sets do not have this extra reinforcement.