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April 13, 2010

3 Ways to Install Baby Seat Correctly

Carseat For new parents, few things are as confusing as baby seats. Although they've certainly gotten more intuitive in the last ten years, installing one can still feel like an insurmountable task. If you don't put the diaper genie together or you forget to buy batteries for an animated toy, there's nothing to worry about. But baby seats are high stakes. If you install one incorrectly, you might put your baby at risk. That's a big responsibility, and one we want to help you with today.

In addition to reading the directions carefully, both from the box and on the manufacturer's website, we suggest you get input from these three sources:

1. The Local Fire Station
Who better to get baby seat advice from than the men and women at your local fire station? At many stations, firefighters will install the seat for you and answer your questions. If visiting the station near you seems a little intimidating, call ahead. Chances are if they don't personally install them, they'll know another crew who does.

2. The Hospital
In the tornado of activity that most babies generate, it's easy to overlook the hospital as a resource. Hospital employees who handle discharging newborns are trained and often install several car seats a day. If you take a tour of the facility, ask if there is someone on staff who is trained in child seat installation.

3. Friends with Kids
Don’t forget to ask the experts next door. You're probably not the only person in your social network who's faced this daunting challenge. Ask friends with child safety seat experience to take a look at how you installed the one in your car. They might not be able to give you a professional opinion, but they should be able to ask you the right questions: "Is it tight enough? Did you secure the seatbelts in the right way? Did you forget any pieces in the box?"

It's perfectly normal to feel a little overwhelmed when it comes to installing a car seat. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Regardless of where you live, you can find someone who can help you make sense of securing your child in the car.

For more information about child safety, please read, "Keep Them in the Back" and "A Parent’s Guide to Booster Seat Safety." Source: Autotrader.com. For additional safety and security tips from Road & Travel Magazine, click here.

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