Car Seat Snafus and How to Avoid Them

Now that the kids are out of school, it’s time to start planning that long overdue family road trip. Whether you’re headed up the coast or into the city, SuperCheap Car Rental is here to help with all of your travel arrangements. Which includes the important task of outfitting your San Francisco car rental with a child safety seat.

When it comes time to hit the road this summer, make sure that safety is one of your top concerns. Avoid these 12 common car-seat mistakes and ensure a safe and enjoyable commute for everyone in your San Francisco entourage.

Snafu #1 – Loose Installation

If your car seat won’t stay put, it’s probably because the seat belt or lower car seat anchor connection is too loose. In the event of an accident, this could subject your child to greater crash forces. To fix this error, give the car seat a good shake (before you put your child in it, of course). If the car seat does not move side-to-side or front-to-back more than one inch when shook you’ve got nothing to worry about.

Snafu #2 – Hapless Harnesses

If the harnesses of your car seat are too loose, your child’s car seat will not be properly restrained in a crash. This could result in your child being ejected from the seat. To remedy this, ensure that the harness straps lay flat, without any twists, against your child’s torso. To test if the straps are tight enough, check to see if there’s any extra material at your child’s shoulders. It should be snug enough so that you cannot grasp any extra strap.

Snafu #3 – Poorly Positioned Chest Clip

The purpose of your San Francisco car rental’s chest clip is to keep your child secure in in the event of a crash or sudden stop. A chest clip that is positioned too low can cause your child to slip loose of the harnesses. What’s more, an improperly positioned chest clip can also cause internal injuries to the abdomen. When strapping your child into your San Francisco car rental car seat, make sure that the chest clip is fastened at armpit level.

Snafu #4 – Forcing a Forward Position

Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years of age. Turning a child forward-facing before their bodies are more fully developed could result in head, neck or spinal cord injury. To safeguard your child, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s weight and height limit recommendations.

Snafu #5 – Overlooking the Top Tether

A car seat’s top tether is designed to protect your child’s head and neck so that it doesn’t experience excessive forward movement during a crash or sudden stop. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations to see whether your car seat needs to be tethered with a LATCH or seat belt.

Snafu #6 – Over Accessorizing Your Car Seat

Putting toys, mirrors and any other extra padding on or in the child’s car seat could interfere with how the seat was designed to perform in a crash. What’s more, these additional items can turn into dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash or sudden stop. Protect your child and any other passengers in your San Francisco car rental by storing any loose items securely in the trunk of your rental.

Snafu #7 – Bundling Up Baby

Bulky coats and sweaters, when placed under or behind the harness of a car seat, can compress in a crash, creating slack in the harness system. Before you buckle your child into your San Francisco car rental, remove jackets or blankets and place them over the child after ensuring the harness is good and snug.

Snafu #8 – Allowing Children To Ride in the Front Seat Too Soon

Children under the age of 13 are typically not large enough to safely ride in the front seat of a San Francisco car rental. This is because front passenger airbags can seriously injure a child in the event of an accident. As such, remember to keep your kids safely buckled into the back seat until they’re in high school.

Snafu #9 – Don’t Boost Before They’re Ready

Don’t move your child out of a car seat and into a booster seat until they meet the manufacturer’s weight and height recommendations. What’s more, you shouldn’t move your child out of a booster seat and into a regular passenger seat. Keep your child in a booster seat until the seat belt in your San Francisco car rental fits them properly – the lap belt should fit low across the hips and upper thighs, while the shoulder belt should fall across the chest and collarbone.

Snafu #10 – Transporting Unsecured Items Next to Your Child

Any loose items in your San Francisco car rental can prove dangerous in the event of a crash. Keep your child out of harm’s way by properly securing loose items