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									                                   CAR SEAT SAFETY TEACHING TOOL
Teaching Considerations                         Teaching Tips                        Understands/      Further      Date/
                                                                                     Demonstrates      review/     Initials
                                                                                     Understanding      More
       Teaching Guide:          Choosing the Right Car Seat— General Care
Initiate at 30-32 weeks post-   Guidelines
       Conceptual age                Your baby should never ride in a
                                         motor vehicle unrestrained.
                                     Make your car seat purchase at least 1-2
      Target Date to                     weeks prior to the baby’s discharge from
    Initiate:_________                   the hospital.
                                     Choose the proper size seat-an infant seat
Teaching completed:_______               that is designed for a baby who weighs
                                         less than 20 pounds. Do not choose a
                                         seat with a shield, abdominal pad or
       Car Seat test done                armrest. A 5-point harness system is the
        Date_________                    preferred safety system.
                                     Purchase a new seat if possible. Car
    Special positioning                  seats expire after about 6 years.
    Recommendations:                 If a second hand seat is the only option,
                                         call NHTSA (800-424-9393) for recall
                                        information and verify that the car seat
                                        has never been in an accident. Never re-
                                        use a car seat that has been in an
                                     Purchase a car seat that meets federally
                                         approved standards. Look for the sticker
                                         on the seat.
                                     Read the vehicle owners manual and the
                                         car seat manufacturer information before
                                         using the car seat. The information will
                                         indicate whether locking clips or a
                                         different buckle are required to secure
                                         the seat properly.
                                     Practice placing the car seat in the car
                                         before discharge to ensure that the car
                                         seat conforms well to the car.*** when
                                         seat is grabbed at the seat belt path, it
                                         should not move side to side more than
                                         an inch.
                                     Always secure your own seat belt; this
                                         ensures your own safety and the
                                         likelihood that you can respond to you
                                         baby if an accident occurs.
                                     Never leave the baby unattended in the
                                         car seat.
                                     Car seats are for car travel. Infants need a
                                         variety of developmental experiences and
                                         should not sit for long periods in a car
                                         seat when not traveling in a car.
                  Teaching Tips                         Understands/      Further      Date/
                                                        Demonstrates      review/     Initials
                                                        Understanding      More
Placing Your Baby in the Car Seat
      Measure the distance from the lower
         strap to the bottom of the seat and from
         the crotch to the back of the seat. It
         should be no more than 10 inches from
         the lower strap to the bottom of the seat
         and 5 inches from the crotch to the back
         of the seat.
      Practice securing your baby in the car
         seat prior to his/her discharge. Assess
         for safety and comfort.
      Dress baby in an outfit that allows access
         between the legs.
      Do not dress in heavy snowsuit /coat or
         wrap in a blanket before placing in the
         car seat. A blanket can be placed over
         them after securing them in a seat.
      The baby’s buttocks and back should be
         flat against the seat.
      The seat should be placed rear facing,
         away from air bags, and preferably in the
         back seat of the vehicle until the infant is
         1 year of age AND 20 pounds, whichever
         comes LAST
Adjusting the harness and straps
      The seat should be in a semi –reclined
         45-degree angle.
      Use a 3 or 5-point harness system to
         secure your baby into the seat.( 5- point
      Harness straps should be at or below the
         shoulder level (this is generally the
         lowest position)
      When securing the harness straps around
         the baby, you should be unable to pinch
         the strap at the level of the collarbone.
      The harness straps must be snug.
      The harness retainer clip should be at the
         level with the baby’s armpits.
      Make sure all adjustments are made so
         that the baby fits snugly into the car seat
      Never place extra cushioning under or
         behind the baby. This includes head
         positioning devices.
      Small rolled towels or blankets may be
         placed at the baby’s side or in the crotch
         area to aid positioning.

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