How to Install a Convertible Car Seat Forward-Facing
This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.
With Lower Anchors and Tether
1. Read your car seat instructions manual and your vehicle’s owner manual carefully. Pay close attention to the location of the lower anchors and tether anchors, and directions on how to use this vehicle hardware.
2. Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle in the forward-facing position.
3. Locate the lower anchors in your vehicle.
4. Connect the lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors, making sure the straps aren’t twisted.
5. Press down firmly on the car seat and tighten the straps.
You should not be able to move the car seat side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
Connect the tether found on the car seat to the tether anchor in the vehicle and tighten.
This step is very important as it limits forward movement in a crash.
Fitting Your Child Correctly in the Car Seat
1. Have your child sit with his/her back and bottom flat against the car seat.
2. Properly position the harness on your child. Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slots located at or above your child’s shoulders.
Some car seats require use of the top-most slot for the forward-facing position. These slots are reinforced to prevent the seat from failing in a crash. Read your car seat’s instruction manual carefully.
3. Buckle the harness and the chest clip, and tighten. The harness is snug enough when you cannot pinch any extra material at the shoulder.
Bulky clothing or heavy coats can prevent a snug harness fit. Always buckle the child in the seat first, and then place coats or blankets over the harness.
4. Place the chest clip at armpit level. This holds the harness straps in place on the child’s chest and shoulders.
Don’t rush to move your child to a booster too early. Continue to use your car seat in the forward-facing position with a harness and tether for as long as possible. If your child reaches the weight limits for the lower anchors but is still within the weight and height limits of the car seat, reinstall the car seat using your vehicle’s seat belt.
Car Seat Installation Tips
1. Read the car seat’s instruction manual and the portion of your vehicle’s owner manual on car seat installation. Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors or the seat belt to secure it in place. If you choose to use a seat belt to install your car seat, pay close attention to how to lock your seat belt in the vehicle owner’s manual. Because every car seat and vehicle is different, it’s important to follow all instructions carefully.
2. Place the car seat in the back seat of your vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s installation directions. The car seat must be secured tightly in the vehicle. It should not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch when pulled at the belt path.
3. If it is a forward-facing seat and has a tether strap, connect it to the tether anchor and tighten. This step is very important as it limits forward head movement in a crash.
4. If it is a rear-facing seat, make sure the car seat is installed at the correct recline angle. Most car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors that help with this step. If you have questions, trained Child Passenger Safety Technicians can help you. Many local fire and police stations offer free car seat inspections
Fitting Your Child Correctly In The Seat
1. Properly position the harness on your child. Rear-facing: Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slot that is at or below your child’s shoulders. Forward-facing: Harness straps should lie flat, not twisted, and be placed through the slot that is at or above your child’s shoulders.
2. Buckle the harness and the chest clip and tighten.
3. The harness is snug enough when extra material cannot be pinched at the shoulder. Make sure the chest clip is at armpit level.