HomeCar Seat ProgramRear-Facing Car Passenger Seat Installation

Rear-Facing Car Passenger Seat Installation

Safe Kids Worldwide Installation Tips & Videos

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Safe Kids Worldwide Ultimate Car Seat Guide

What Will You Need for Installation

  • Car passenger seat manual
    • Online if needed
  • Vehicle guidebook
  • Child’s height and weight (if possible)

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Is the child under 2 years old?
    1. Yes, then install Rear-Facing
      1. This is South Carolina Law (see image below)
    2. No, then you have the option to be forward-facing.
  • Has it ever been in a car accident?
    1. No, then you may use it
    2. Yes! Do no use and replace car passenger seat
  • Check expiration date or manufacture date on car seat
    1. Reference car seat manual or sticker on the bottom of the car passenger seat
    2. Discard if expired, and replace car passenger seat
  • Check recall list: https://www.safercar.gov/
    1. Have make, model and manufacture date ready to reference
  • Check the height and weight guidelines for the car passenger seat (reference manual or stickers on seat)
    1. If child is not within height and weight guideline ranges, use a different car passenger seat
    2. Child’s top of head MUST BE AT LEAST 1” (2.5 cm) BELOW the top of the car passenger seat
      1. If less than an inch to the top, use a different car passenger seat
  • Check harness and child fit before installation
    1. Harness straps
      1. Shoulder strap should come out of the back of the seat at or just below the child’s shoulders
      2. Buckle strap should not be super tight or behind child (there are multiple slots)
  • Reference car seat manual on how to adjust either straps
  1. Chest clip
    1. Should be placed between armpit and nipple level
  2. “Pinch Test”
    1. Pinch the shoulder straps with your thumb and pointer finger
    2. You should not be able to grab any fabric
  • Check vehicle manufacture guidebook for proper placement of car passenger seat
    1. Go to the index section and look up Child-Restraint System
    2. Look for LATCH System
      1. This will show you where your LATCH anchors and tethers are located
  • Follow car passenger seat manual on how to install seat
    1. Manuals are online if needed
    2. Reference stickers are on car passenger seat as well
  • Use LATCH system or seatbelt (one or the other, NOT BOTH unless car passenger seat manual approves of using both)
    1. NOTE: Use LATCH only for children less than a certain weight. The car passenger seat manual or sticker and the vehicle guidebook lists the weight limit. When your child gets too big for LATCH, simply undo LATCH and secure the car seat with the seat belt and top tether.
    2. Make sure neither LATCH anchors nor seatbelt are twisted when installing
    3. If using LATCH anchors
      1. Clips facing downward
      2. Place a hand in the center of the seat and push down while pulling the LATCH anchor strap
    4. If using seatbelt
      1. Thread seatbelt through belt path of the car passenger seat and buckle (reference manual & stickers)
      2. Activate the seatbelt locking device by pulling the seatbelt all the way out until you hear a click.  At this point you will not be able to pull the seatbelt out anymore without letting it retrack all the way back.
  • Place a hand in the center of the seat and push down while pulling the seatbelt up
  • Check recline level of car passenger seat
    1. Reference car passenger seat manual for proper installation
    2. If you have a level-indicator, make sure you are on level ground
    3. Infants must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open
      1. As your child grows, the angle may need to be adjusted
  • “Inch Test” for base tightness
    1. Place hands by the seatbelt path or LATCH anchor path and wiggle side to side and front to back
    2. The base should not move more than an inch

If you need more assistance, contact:

Laura Kondor

Fire & Life Safety Educator

843-740-2647 or LKdondor@northcharleston.org