By Allana Pinkerton, Global Safety Advocate for Diono
#1 READ THE MANUAL: Most of us do not read manuals. Installing a car seat is serious business. Manuals are written according to how the car seat is crash tested. Read the warnings and then refer to the pages for your specific installation. Watch installation videos on company websites.
#2 SLIDE THE BELT IN THE RIGHT PLACE: Car seats have belt paths for either the seat belt or the lower anchor straps. Convertible seats have two belt paths: rear-facing and forward-facing. It’s very important to use the appropriate belt path.
#3 INSTALL THE SEAT TIGHT: The car seat should move less than one inch side-to-side or front-to-back when you tug at the belt path. If there is too much movement, start the installation process over or change to another seating position.
#4 HARNESS YOUR CHILD PROPERLY: Your child’s harness works just like a race car driver’s harness. The harness should fit snug and comfortable. If you can pinch the harness webbing at the collar bone between your thumb and index finger, give another tug on the adjuster strap until you can’t pinch any webbing. While there might be room near the belly area, a snug fit up at the collar bone is all you need.
#5 CHECK YOUR WORK: Most car seats are unknowingly installed incorrectly. Finding a professional to check your installation could possibly save your child’s life! There are many dedicated Child Passenger Safety Technicians who are willing to help.