Car Seat Installation & Child Passenger Safety
Acura Dealership Tallahassee, FL
At Proctor Acura, we know our safety ratings and legacy for reliability are what make our vehicles a top choice to carry your most precious cargo.
Automobile accidents can be a scary and unpredictable reality for any driver. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-13. Unfortunately, research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that less than half of all car seats are installed correctly.
That is why it is so crucial to choose the correct type of car seat for your child, install it properly, and practice safe use every time you put your vehicle in drive!
Types of Car Seats & When to Use Them
INFANT CAR SEAT
(Always Rear Facing)
- Specifically made for newborns and infants. They are lightweight and click in and out of the vehicle to make transporting baby easy.
- Infant car seats are exclusively used in the rear facing orientation.
- Parents may opt to use an infant car seat or rear facing convertible car seat for their newborns and infants.
- Hospitals won’t discharge newborns without having a car seat properly installed in the car first.
CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT
(Rear, then Front Facing)
- Convertible car seats are designed to convert for the safety needs of your child as they grow- from day one up until elementary school ages in some models!
- Convertible car seats clip into the vehicle via the LATCH system or seatbelt and do not double as carriers.
- For infants and young babies, convertible car seats should still be used in the rear facing position, and can be transitioned to forward facing when the child hits the appropriate age, height, or weight limit.
- Designed for children who have outgrown front facing car seats, but are too small for seatbelts. Seatbelts are designed to fit adults, with lapbands going over the legs (instead of belly), and chest strap securely crossing the chest (not the neck, face, or shoulders).
- Booster seats allow children to sit up higher so that seatbelts fit and protect them in the way they are designed to.
- Booster seats are available in high back and backless styles. Some click into the vehicle, while others do not.
- All car seats are intended for rear seat use. Children should never ride in the front seat with or without a car seat.
- Check your local laws to see what car seat requirements must be practiced in your area.
- Height and weight recommendations for car seat safety may vary by car seat manufacturer and model. Check the user manual of your car seat to ensure you are following safety guidelines.
Recommended Car Seat Types based on Age
Age is not the only factor that determines which car seat is most appropriate for your child. Height and weight recommendations for car seat safety may vary by car seat manufacturer and model. Check the user manual of your car seat to ensure you are following safety guidelines and using the appropriate seat and orientation
Understanding The LATCH System
In the early 2000’s, legislation required the implementation of the LATCH system for new cars and
car seats. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, and the system was created to
make car seat installation easier and safer while eliminating frustrating incompatibilities between
vehicle and car seat make/models.
Our sales staff is happy to point out where the LATCH connections are in any new or used Acura, but it is always best to consult your car seat’s owners manual to ensure that your particular model is installed in the vehicle properly.
Learn more about how the LATCH system works in the guide below!
Avoid Common Car Seat Use & Installation Mistakes
Make sure that both the straps that connect to the vehicle and the straps that secure over your child are snug and secure. You should not be able to pinch excess slack.
Large coats and heavy layers worn beneath car seat harnesses can reduce the effectiveness of the seat in the event of a crash. Instead, opt for light layers and use car seat approved covers or a blanket over the straps.
Ensure that the car seat is reclined to the appropriate angle based on your child's age and size and the manufacturer recommendations.
Position Chest Clip
The chest clip on most car seats should be placed directly over your child's chest, even with their armpits for maximum protection. Too low may not restrain them enough in the event of a crash, and too high could injure necks.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: REGISTER & CHECK EXPIRATION
Just as it is important to pay attention to any recalls that may affect your vehicle, it is critical to register your car seat (most manufacturers include form with prepaid postage) so that you can be contacted in the event of a recall. Likewise, most car seats have expiration dates, and it is important to ensure your child's seat has not expired for safety reasons.
How Will My Car Seat(s) Fit in an Acura?
Finding the perfect vehicle for your family may depend on several factors including the size (or anticipated size) of your family, the age of your children, the orientation of their seats, and how much room you will also need for adult passengers and cargo. To understand how specific Acura models will function with your car seat needs, check out the latest reviews for these four best-selling family vehicles from the Cars.com Car Seat Check.
If you don’t see your particular model listed above, simply enter it on the cars.com car seat check search engine to see how it rates for car seat safety and practicality.
Car Seat & Booster Seat Laws in Florida
- Children 3 and younger must be secured in a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device.
- Children 4 -5 years old must be secured by either a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device, an integrated child seat, or booster seat.
- Children ages 6 and up must be secured with the vehicle seat belt (Statute 316.614).
Parents and children are exempt to the above rules if riding in a taxi service.
Tallahassee Car Seat Installation Resources
Tallahassee Police Department offers free car seat installations & inspections through their
child passenger safety program!
Every Wednesday morning, certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to assist and educate parents/caregivers on car seat installation and safety.
Appointment times are from 9am – 11am each Wednesday. There are a limited number of appointments available each week, so please be sure to call in advance. To schedule an appointment, please call 850-891-4275.
In addition to the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Emergency Medical Services and Florida Highway Patrol offer free, local car seat installations and inspections by certified professionals. To find Florida car seat inspection and fitting stations by county, click the button below!Fitting Stations by County