How To Install A Safety Car Seat For 3 Year Old Children?

How To Install A Safety Car Seat For 3 Year Old Children?

How To Install A Safety Car Seat For 3 Year Old Children?

What Is A Safe Booster Seat Age?


A Tech friend once said “It’s not rocket science, it’s harder” and she was right. Car seat safety can be very confusing and over whelming. Reading your car seat/booster manual and the manual for your vehicle, will give you all the information you need to install and use your seat correctly.


With 9 out of 10 car seats, not used or installed correctly, it is important to have your install checked by a Certified CRST. Look for a Tech that has had training within the last 3yrs, and has certification with an accredited, up to date organization, like CPSAC (Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada).


Rear Facing:

~ Children are 75% better protected from injury and 90% more protected from death during a car crash when rear facing until at least the 2nd birthday.

~ When rear facing, harness straps should be At or Below the shoulders. Chest clip at nipple/arm pit level.

~ Legs touching the back seat, being bent or straddling the sides of the car seat is not a safety issue.

~ Most car seats allow you to sit the car seat more upright once the child has good head control (usually 6-8mo), check your car seat manual for details.


Stage 2 Car Seat Forward Facing 5 point Harness:

~ This is an appropriate car seat for 3 year old children

~ Children should stay in a 5 point harness to a minimum of 40lbs, and 5-6yrs old.

~ Harness straps should be At or Above the shoulders. Chest clip at nipple/arm pit level.

~ Use the Top Tether with all forward Facing car seats (this is located at the top back of the car seat and goes over the top of the vehicle seat to a designated tether point.


Give Them A Boost – When To Move From A Booster Seat:

~ Boosters have a 40lb minimum and uses the adult seat belt to restrain the child.

~ Be sure the lap belt is low across the strong hips and thighs, not up on the soft abdomen.

~ Shoulder belt should lay flat across the collar bone.

Read More About Booster Seats and When To Use Them.

Tips and Tricks:

~ Puppy training pads are great to put under little bums, in case of accidents, or a spilled drink.

~ A properly installed car seat should not move more than 1 inch, side to side, front to back, at the belt path

~ Use either the UAS (Lower Anchors) OR the seat belt to install the car seat, but never both.

~ Make sure harness straps are “Snug as a hug” and you cannot pinch any harness webbing at the collar bone.

~ Children should not wear bulky clothing in the car (and that goes for booster riders and adults). Warm, thin layers will keep everyone safe and warm in the car.


Read more on car seat safety.

Sharalyn Crossfield

About Sharalyn Crossfield

Sharalyn, co-owner of The Car Seat Maven, is a Children’s Restraint Systems Technician-Instructor, certified by CPSAC. She has taken additional training in transport of children with special health care needs and works closely with the POM community.

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