Car seats can save lives but nearly three out of four parents make these five common mistakes:

  1. car seat safetyWrong harness slots: For rear-facing seats, use slots at or below child’s shoulders; for forward-facing seats, use those at or above the child’s shoulders.
  2. The harness straps are too loose; there should be no slack.
  3. The harness retainer (chest clip) is over the abdomen rather than the chest.
  4. The car seat moves more than two inches side-to-side or front-to-back; more than one inch of movement is too much.
  5. When using a booster seat, the lap belt rests over the child’s stomach or the shoulder belt is over the face or neck. Lap belts must lie snugly across the upper thighs and shoulder belts across the shoulder and chest.

Visit for car seat safety tips by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or to locate a nearby Child Passenger Safety technician who can help often for free.

Register your seat with the manufacturer!

Send in the registration card or register on the manufacturer’s website so you’re informed of safety recalls.