Education on Graco Car Seats
Today there are numerous manufacturers of car seats with a number of models on the market, and the manufacturer Graco is one of the largest in the industry, with car seats that come in all different types for children of all sizes and ages. All infants should ride in a suitable infant seat for the first year of life, and need to be in some sort of child seat or booster until they are at least seven years old.
Age Requirements For Graco Safety Seats
Children must ride in a car sitting of some sort, from the time they are born until they reach around 8-9 years old. As long as they weight under 80 pounds and are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall.
A child who does not travel in a car seat can be injured in an accident because the adult seat belt does not fit properly, these seat belts need to fit the child's body. According to Dr. Arlene Greenspan, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an adult safety belt is not enough to keep a child safe in a crash. In Greenspan's words, "Your child will be safer in the back seat and, if possible, in the center of the car as all children under 13 should ride in the back seat.". This includes children traveling in Graco car seats.
The correct use of a Graco safety seat will greatly increase the safety of any children traveling by car. Greenspan said that, compared with children who only use the adult seat belt, the risk of injury in the case of an accident is reduced by 59 percent for children aged 4-7 years.
The Graco booster seat should be used with the shoulder belt and lap at all times. The lap belt should rest on the child's thighs, not the stomach. Never place the shoulder belt under the child's arm or allow them to sit on it, just because it's uncomfortable.
Children should be taught the importance of using a Graco car seat. Let your child know that the Graco seat must be used correctly at all times.
How to install a Graco car seat
It is extremely important to install Graco car seats according to the instructions.
Prepare your vehicle for installation
- Choose the best location in the back seat to place the Graco car seat. The center seat is ideal, but places, anchor and/or type of seat belt may not comply with safety requirements listed in your owner Graco seat model manual. Anchors are used with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), which has been available in almost all passenger vehicles manufactured since 2003.
- Choose whether you use the LATCH system or the seat belt to secure your child's car seat in the vehicle seat.
- Park your car in a level area so that it is not on a slope.
Installation using the LATCH system
- LATCH straps extend to its maximum length by pressing the release button and pulling LATCH straps outward until it stops. Place the base of the Graco car seat in the vehicle's seat you have chosen.
- Place the LATCH connectors on the lower vehicle anchorage icons that indicate where too attach the LATCH system. Make sure the straps are not twisted and that the connectors are closed tightly around the anchors.
- Press firmly and pull the LATCH strap to tighten the seat base.
Installing with the vehicle belt
- Place the base of the Graco seat you have chosen in the rear-facing position. Open the locking mechanism locking the base and send the vehicle belt (shoulder strap and belt) along the belt path designated on the underside of the seat and pull through to the other side of the seat.
- Press firmly on the base of the Graco car seat, while pulling the end of the vehicle belt to tighten.
- Buckle the belt into place, and make sure the belt remains tight and keeps the base from moving side to side.
Graco car seat installation at the base
- Level the Graco child safety seat base by adjusting the tilt with the level knob. Turn the knob clockwise to lower the foot or to the left to lift it. The base is level when only the blue/green color is visible in the level indicator. If you can see the orange, adjustments must be made to the base.
- Turn the car seat so that it is directed towards the rear of the vehicle. Lower the seat down on the base until you hear a "click".
- Pull up on the seat to make sure it is securely attached to the base.
Tips & Warnings
- Go to the Graco website to find your specific product and find any discrepancies in the installation process.
- Most hospitals will not let leave with your newborn until they have inspected your car seat to make sure it is installed correctly for baby.
- Having it checked ahead of time is highly recommended.
- Many hospitals, police stations and fire departments offer this service at no cost if you call ahead and make an appointment.
- If you are unsure whether your vehicle is compatible with the LATCH to install a Graco car seat, check the vehicle owner's manual and look for the hooks with the LATCH icon located on the backs of the seats near the buckle.
- Follow the instructions in the owner manual that came with your specific model of car seat.
- Failure to do so could result in injury to your baby if a collision occurs.
In the end, always verify that the installation of the car seat is secure before use. When installed correctly, a child safety seat should not move more than one inch in any direction when pushed and pulled.