Mistakes parents make with car seats

Book of show how to properly install seat belts. / Jessica Fairley

For Wednesday's Facebook story of the day, people wanted to know what are the common mistakes made when using car seats for kids?

Whether it is a booster seat, a child seat or an infant seat, the key to safety is having the child strapped in correctly.

Officials with Dougherty County Police say the number one mistake parents make is not using car seats. Then some of those who do aren't doing it correctly.

"The majority of parents don't even read the book that comes with it that tells them how to properly install them. So then you run into the problem where they're not actually properly installed," says Capt. Tom Jackson, Dougherty County Police.

First the seat has to be the right size and secured according to guidelines.

"You can use the seatbelt or the tether. Only thing that is in case you're in a crash the child doesn't get ejected out of a car seat," says Artiszell Johnson, Southwest Georgia Dept. of Health Licensed Practical Nurse.

A common mistake people make is having the child facing the wrong direction. Children two and up should face forward and infants should face the rear.

"It's safe for the child because the child's neck and head isn't strong enough. So that way they ride down a crash if they are involved in a crash," says Artiszell Johnson.

When strapping the child in, be sure to take up the slack.

"You're not going to have it real tight. It's just going to be secure. Just kind of snug but not real tight and then you're going to do the pinch test on the webbing and it should be smooth," says Artiszell Johnson.

After adjusting the chest plate to armpit level, do a double check just to be sure.

"Better safe than sorry and it's not because I'm a bad driver but you have to look out for other drivers. If do want to make sure they are in there correctly. If that could save their life then it's worth the check," says Christina King, a parent.

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