HKQ Kids

Car Seat Checks

Listen to the HKQ Kids' Radio spot:


Travelling to activities, playdates and family events -- as families we spend a lot of time in our cars and on the road. And, now that pandemic restrictions have loosened up a little, we may find ourselves with more travelling options. Making sure your kids are safe and secure in their car seats is extremely important. And, with so many combinations of seats, cars and fastening systems, it can be very confusing.

The LATCH System, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, is a system of hooks and straps designed to make car seat installation easier. However, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that most parents are less likely to use the LATCH system over the seat belt installation, and 81% of installation errors are not obvious to parents. Additionally, the LATCH system added warnings a few years ago to not use lower anchors of LATCH once the child and seat combined weight reached 65 pounds or more, as excess weight could cause the anchors to detach in an accident.

The best way to install a car seat in your vehicle is to set time aside to read the installation manual that comes with the car seat, as well as your manual for your vehicle. Skipping one small step can make your kids’ seats much less safe. And, if you are car seat shopping, avoid buying a used car seat. Car seats have expiration dates – most are about 6 years from the manufacture date. Materials break down, technology improves and standards change, and safety tests expire, as manufacturers generally do not test expired models. Car seats should also be replaced after a moderate to severe accident. Generally, if your car had to be towed from an accident, your car seat should be replaced.

For additional safety tips go to HKQKids.org where you can find a downloadable pdf of car seat installation tips, find us on Facebook and Instagram.