Child Safety Seats

Installing Car Seats: You Can Do This!

The Newington Police Department now sponsors car seat checks and installations. These checks are intended to inspect parents’ efforts to install car seats and to show them how to correct any installation problems that may be occurring. Appointments are needed to have car seats checked and may be scheduled by calling 860-666-8445. Currently Officer Meghan Kennedy and Officer Jamie DeSimone have been certified to conduct proper child seat installation checks.

Infant Seat Rear-Facing Convertible

These seats can accommodate babies from birth to 20 to 22 pounds who are less than 26 inches in length (check your car seat rating).

  • Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an air bag.
  • Seat must face the rear of the vehicle.
  • Harness straps should come through the slots in the back of the seat just below the level of your baby’s shoulders.
  • Always keep harness straps snug so that no more than one finger fits under the harness strap at the child’s shoulder, and that the harness clip fastens at armpit level.
  • The seat should be reclined to no more than a 45-degree angle. A rolled up towel may be used to help adjust the seat to the proper angle.
  • Make sure the carrying handle is locked in the down position while in the car.

Infant Seat Rear-Facing Convertible

These can accommodate babies who are 20 or more pounds and less than one year of age.

  • If your child reaches 20 pounds before turning one year old, you must make sure that the car seat is rated up to 30 to 35 pounds when rear-facing.
  • Do not place your child in a forward seat until at least 20 pounds and one year of age. A child younger than one does not have neck muscles strong enough to withstand a crash in a forward-facing seat.
  • Keep harness straps snug and below shoulder level as indicated above.

Check the label on your car seat to see its weight rating for your child now and for later growth.

Convertible

These seats can be adjusted for use with infants or toddlers. See previous information for children under one year and 20 pounds.

  • Use this seat forward-facing and upright for toddlers over age one and weighing from 20 to 40 pounds.
  • Harness straps should come through the uppermost slots in the back of the seat and be snug.
  • Adjust car seat to upright position.

Toddler Car Seat/Belt Positioning Booster Seat

These seats are forward-facing only and are for children older one year and weighing more than 20 pounds. They can be used for toddlers weighing up to 80 pounds.

Up to 40 pounds:

  • Use the harness until your child weighs 40 pounds.
  • Harness straps should be snug and come through the back of the seat above the shoulder.
  • Booster seats with shields are never recommended. Remove the shield and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Toddler Car Seat/Belt Positioning Booster Seat

Over 40 pounds:

One of the most common mistakes made is to place a child in a vehicle seat belt too early. Your child needs a booster seat if:

  • The shoulder belt crosses your child’s face or neck.
  • If the lap belt rides up your child’s stomach (this can cause serious stomach and spinal injuries in the event of a crash).
  • If your child’s legs do not bend over the seat naturally at the knee. (If your child’s legs are not long enough for him or her to sit naturally, he or she may slouch down to be more comfortable. This can cause the lap belt to ride up the stomach.) Booster seats raise your child to a safe level so the lap and shoulder belt fits correctly.

Using a Booster Seat

  • Harness should be removed and the seat should be used as a belt-positioning booster with the lap/shoulder belt.
  • Booster seats with shields are never recommended. Remove the shield and follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Lap Belt

If your car only has a lap belt in the back seat, you will need an 86-Y harness which is available by calling E-Z On Products Inc., 800-323-6598 or visit the E-Z-ON website.

Seat Belt

For older children who are at least 4 feet, 6 inches tall and weigh 80 pounds.

  • Lap portion of the belt must go over the thighs.
  • Shoulder portion of the belt must go over the shoulder, never the face or neck.
  • Shoulder and lap belt adjusters are never recommended

Has Your Child’s Car Seat Been Recalled?

If you would like to check to see if your child’s car seat has been recalled, follow these steps:

  • Locate the manufacturer’s name, date and model number on your car seat
  • Go to Safety Belt Safe U.S.A. Website
  • Click on the ’Recalls’ link
  • Click ’View’ to see the recalled car seat list