How to Properly Install a Car Seat

At Lewisville VW, we’ll do everything in our power to keep you and your children safe. We’ve provided you with the most up-to-date car seat securing system, and we want to help you learn how to properly install a car seat.

Types of Car Seats

Infants must ride in rear-facing car seats in the rear seat of your vehicle. Babies/young children should stay rear-facing for as long as possible, as it is the absolute safest position. In the event of a head-on crash, the infant’s whole body is pushed against the back of the car seat rather than forward against the straps. Keep your child rear-facing until they reach the upper limit of your car seat’s weight restriction—the longer, the better. A young child’s neck is particularly susceptible to major injury if thrown forward during an accident, so protect children with a rear-facing seat for as long as you can.

A child can graduate to a forward-facing car seat with a harness once he or she has fully outgrown rear-facing seats. Once your child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat, they can graduate to a booster seat in the back seat of your car. Booster seats are designed for children weighing 40 to 100 pounds, ages 4 to 12, and up to 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

A child should only graduate to a seatbelt once they’re big enough that the seat belt rests across the top of the thighs, rather than on the stomach. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, even children large enough to ride secured with a seatbelt alone should ride in the rear seats until at least the age of 12.

LATCH

LATCH, or “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children,” is the standardized car seat attachment system now required by law in all new vehicles. The system consists of two “lower anchors,” similar to steel U-bolts, that are built into the bight (crack) between the back rest and lower seat. These are usually accompanied by a top tether that secures the top of the child safety seat to another anchor behind the car’s seat. This system is designed to make proper car seat installation intuitive and standardized between cars and safety seats. Still, it is important to always read the manuals for both your safety seat and your car in order to ensure that your child is safely secured in the event of an accident.

Seat Belt Installation

In older cars that don’t have the LATCH system, the seat can be installed using the seat belt to owner’s manual specifications. Once the car seat is installed, try with serious force to rock the seat from side to side. If you can move it more than an inch in either direction, use the locking clip that came with the seat to secure the seatbelt more tightly. If you’ve misplaced the locking clip, contact the manufacturer to order a new one before you use the car seat.

Know the Law

Car seat laws vary by state, but all states require safety seats for very young children. In Texas, children younger than 7 years old (and 57 inches tall) MUST be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat. Check the Governors’ Highway Safety Association page on Child Passenger Safety Laws to make sure you’re following the rules when you cross state lines. Don’t risk fines, fees, or your child’s safety.

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From Lewisville Volkswagen, Dallas Car Dealership, Have a Safe, Sane Spring Break!

At Lewisville Volkswagen, we love to have fun. However, for the fine students (and some adults) of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, we also want them to have fun, but be safe at the same time during this Spring Break.

Hordes of students will be heading to Florida and other places where there’s sun and fun to be had.  Some will be driving long distances in their Volkswagen, some will be flying, but in general, it’s always a good idea to be cautious. Of course, everyone wants to have a great time on spring break, but at the risk of sounding like a scolding parent, here are some things to keep in mind:Lewisville Volkswagen Saftey

  • Don’t drive drunk – Of course, we don’t really need to tell you this, because you should know this one already.  You know how dangerous it is, and how expensive it can be if you get caught.  Don’t let the next fifteen years of your life get ruined over one stupid mistake during spring break.
  • Hotel/motel – Use your common sense.  Don’t leave your valuables in the room, use the buddy system when you go out, lock your door, and don’t open the door for strangers (or for anyone) without a look through the peephole first.  And do NOT climb or sit on balconies or rails!
  • Sun/sand/surf – Everyone wants to take advantage of the Florida or Gulf Coast beaches, but again, use some common sense.  Be aware of the symptoms of heat stress, and drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty.  Apply sunscreen before you get out on the beach, with an SPF number of at least 15.  Remember that you can get a sunburn even if it’s cloudy!  Don’t swim or surf alone, know the red/yellow/blue flag warning system and don’t swim if you’ve been drinking!Lewisville Volkswagen
  • Driving – Make sure that your Volkswagen is ready for travel.  Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and have good tread, your car has good belts and hoses and a fresh oil change.  When it comes to driving safety, you can rest assured that your Volkswagen has great safety ratings and crash test ratings to go along with great gas mileage and comfort to make your trip a little easier.  Oh, and don’t drink and drive – but we already talked about that.

Now that that’s all been covered – have a great time on your spring break!!