Disturbing Report: More Than Half of All Child Car Seats are Improperly Installed


You would do anything and everything to protect your child from all kinds of dangers, but a recent report indicates that parents are putting children at risk of serious injury through improper installation of car seats. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child injuries, almost 950,000 children under 13 years old are involved in a car accident every year. Unfortunately, estimates show that up to 60% of all child safety restraint devices are not installed correctly.

Alaska law requires younger children to be secured in an approved car seat, but compliance with the law is not nearly as important as protecting your child from harm. To protect your family from being injured in an Anchorage car accident, some information will help you choose and install an appropriate safety restraint.


Find the Right Type of Safety Restraint

While specific manufacturer recommendations on car seats will guide you, it is important to know that your options will run according to a combination of factors — age, weight, and height. There are four basic models to consider:

  • A rear-facing seat is ideal for infants, as it protects the fragile neck and spinal cord.
  • For older babies and toddlers, a forward-facing upright car seat is appropriate.
  • A booster chair raises younger children to a position where your vehicle’s seat belts will fit properly over the shoulder and lap.
  • Older children and teens are still required to use seat belts.


Car Seat Installation Tips

To start, a child restraint chair should always be installed in the back seat of your vehicle. Another basic point is knowing the parts of the car seat, and two key components are the lower anchors and tether anchor. These secure the bottom and top of the device to the horizontal and vertical points in the seat of your vehicle.

However, the Safe Kids report mentioned that 64% of car seats are not secured using the top tether. Even when the lower anchor is in place, failure to install the top tether means a forward-facing car seat will pitch forward upon impact. Other installation mistakes include:

  • Allowing the harness to be too loose over the child;
  • Not tightening the lower and tether anchors to prevent movement of the seat;
  • Installing the car seat with a twist in the safety belt; and,
  • Failing to check to ensure the seat belt “locks” around the car seat base.


Follow Up with Manufacturers

As a final point, make sure you register your child’s safety device or booster chair after purchase. If there are recalls or safety issues, you will be notified by the manufacturer.


Consult With an Alaska Car Accident Lawyer Regarding Legal Options

A properly installed, appropriately sized car seat is crucial for protecting your child in a crash, but it cannot prevent car accidents from occurring. At Power & Power Law, our team is dedicated to pursuing the at-fault motorist, so contact our Anchorage, Alaska offices to set up a no-cost consultation. A skilled attorney can advise you on options after reviewing your circumstances.