Top Ten Car Seat Safety Tips

woman in back of car with baby

If you’re traveling by vehicle with a baby, it’s important to make sure that their car seat is correctly installed so that they’re as safe as possible during your journey. Here are our top ten child car seat safety tips:

  1. Before purchasing a car seat, check that it meets the federal motor vehicle safety standard. This information can be found on a sticker on the side of the car seat.
  2. Check to make sure that your child’s height and weight meets the seat’s rating. On the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website, you can find car seat recommendations by your child’s age and size. Additionally, the height and weight ratings will be listed directly on the car seat and its packaging.
  3. Do not use an expired car seat. Usually, car seats expire between six to ten years.
  4. Carefully read the installation instructions that come with your car seat. Check to see whether your car-seat base will be installed with lower anchors or a seatbelt.
  5. Your baby’s back should lie flat against the car seat. The straps of the harness should never be twisted or loose.
  6. Use the pinch test. If you can pinch extra material, the harness is too loose.
  7. If your child’s car seat has a top tether strap (located at the top of the seat), make sure to use it. Your car owner’s manual can help identify the correct anchor point.
  8. Always be sure that your base is installed at the proper recline angle to keep your baby’s airways open.
  9. Children should remain in a rear-facing safety seat until anywhere from age two to four, or until they are at the upper height or weight limit of the seat. For children under age two, this is mandated by Illinois law. Generally, it is safest to keep a child rear-facing as long as the limits of the seat will allow.
  10. Always get a new car seat after a car accident and include the cost of a new car seat in your property damage settlement.

Where to Get A Car-Seat Installation Check

If you need help installing your child’s car seat or want to make sure it’s safe, find a local car-seat inspection station with an AAA-certified technician. These technicians make sure your car seat has not been recalled or damaged and check that your child is the right age and weight for the seat. Search online at near the bottom of the website to find a technician near you. Safe Kids Worldwide is also a good resource.

Car Seat Safety Technicians in Bloomington-Normal, IL

IDOT- Bloomington
207 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 301
Bloomington, IL 61701
Phone: (309) 828-1892 Contact: Jessi Hopkins
Call to schedule an appointment.

BroMenn Healthcare
1400 Franklin Ave.
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: (309) 452-6667 Contact: Mary Tosh
Call to schedule an appointment.

Normal Fire Department
1300 E. College Ave.
Normal, IL 61761
Phone: (309) 828-1892 x218 Contact: Matt Swaney
Call to schedule an appointment.

Car Seat Safety Technicians in Decatur, IL

Baby Talk
650 W. Williams St.
Decatur, IL 62522
Phone: (217) 422-5249 Contact: Sara Lowry
Call to schedule an appointment.

Macon County Health Department
1221 E. Condit St.
Decatur, IL 62521
Phone: (217) 425-1500 x1313 Contact: M Henkelman, D Wall-Friedrich, C Carlton, J Gibbs, Dinah Gray, A Duckworth
Third Tuesday of every month – 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Call to schedule an appointment.
Inspection station located at the Decatur Fire Station #1 1415 N Water St. Decatur, IL

Macon County Safe Kids
1221 E. Condit St.
Decatur, IL 62521
Phone: (217) 423-6953 x 1313 Contact: Michelle Boatman
Third Friday of each month from 9:30 – 11:30 AM.
Please call for an appointment.

First Steps Daycare
1325 W. Sunset Ave.
Decatur, IL 62522
Phone: (217) 428-2647 Contact: Elizabeth Marshall
Call to schedule an appointment.

Car Seat Safety Technicians in Lincoln, IL

Logan County Health Department
109 3rd St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: (217) 735-2317 Contact: Mallory Ramos
Call to schedule an appointment.

Community Action Logan County Headstart
2018 North Kickapoo St.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: (217) 732-3448 Contact: Cathy McIntosh
Call to schedule an appointment.

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