Child Car Seat Information | Blank Children's Hospital of Des Moines
Blank Children's Hospital

Safety Seat Checklist

Make sure you are using your child safety seat properly by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Is the car seat appropriate for the child's age, weight and height according to the manufacturer's directions?
  • Is the seat belt routed properly through the child safety seat according to manufacturer's directions?
  • Is the child safety seat rear-facing if your child is less than the maximum rear facing weight and height limits?
  • Is the tether strap connected to its designated anchor point if your car seat is forward facing?
  • Is the child safety seat installed tightly in your vehicle? (It should move less than one inch front-to-back or side-to-side when grasped at the belt path).

If your child safety seat uses a harness:

  • Are the harness straps threaded through the appropriate slots in the child safety seat (below your child's shoulders for a rear facing seat or above your child's shoulders for a forward facing seat)?
  • Are the harness straps snug (you should not be able to pinch any slack in the harness straps)?
  • Is the harness retainer clip threaded according to manufacturer's instructions, and resting at armpit level when your child is in the seat?

If your child is in a booster seat:

  • Does the shoulder belt ride across your child's collarbone?
  • Does the lap belt ride across the top of your child's thighs?