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Learn to Properly Install a Car Seat!

Learn to Properly Install a Car Seat!
By Kara Bachman

Infant car seats. Handling and carrying them is a pain in every mom’s rear, but…they’re important!

Keeping a newborn or toddler safe and secure isn’t something to be taken lightly. Honestly, EVERYTHING rides on having a smooth and safe ride with your newborn. Not just when returning home from the hospital, but for years after.

According to, studies show that anywhere between 75-percent and 96-percent of parents “get it wrong” when installing a car seat. WHOA…that’s kinda scary.

Experts advise that parents not cut corners on important safety considerations regarding car seats. That means it’s important not just to buy an approved car seat — hopefully new and fully functional — but also to understand how to install it properly.

Sometimes, local police and fire departments will have special days where parents can be taught proper installation. Hospitals and other healthcare providers might also be a good source of information.

Merit Health River Region — located in the southern Delta city of Vicksburg — provides direct OBGYN services and as part of that, stresses car seat safety.

“Merit Health River Region prepares for our new babies to go home safely by checking their car seats at admission to the unit, during the recovery phase and again prior to discharge,” explained Lacey Griffith, RN and Director of Women’s Services for Merit.

“We work with the parents to check the integrity of the car seat cover, ensure there aren’t any visible cracks, and discourage the use of aftermarket covers that have been noted to be extremely flammable,” Griffith said, citing some possible issues found with improper seats.

“In addition to car seat safety education, Merit Health River Region offers expecting parents a variety of educational opportunities, including breastfeeding and childbirth classes,” she added.

Baptist Medical Center, which of course is situated in Jackson — has satellite locations around the state, including in Yazoo City. There’s no official OB services offered there in Yazoo, but BMC deals with Delta-area expectant mothers nonetheless.

“We provide a maternal transport program for high risk pregnancies, and moms can deliver here [in Jackson] and be returned to the care of their regular physician,” said MBMC spokesperson, Diane Martin. “MBMC does offer a wide range of childbirth educational classes, and car seat safety is part of our education.”

We at Parents & Kids — Mississippi Delta hope all expectant moms will take advantage of childbirth education classes offered through a healthcare provider. They’ll deliver important information about parenting, including details about something vitally important, but often either overlooked or not taken seriously enough: Getting baby from point A to point B.

This is the most precious cargo you’ll ever transport — make sure, moms, that your angel is always safe!


Here are just a few car seat safety tips, courtesy of

  • Car seats should never, ever be placed in the front seat! NEVER!
  • The safest place to install in the back seat is not on the left or right seats, but in the center.
  • Read both the car’s owner manual regarding seats and seatbelts, and the car seat manual. Follow every direction carefully.
  • Front-facing or rear-facing? Well, this depends upon the child’s age. It is important though to use the PROPER restraint method for rear- vs. front-facing. The same car seat is installed DIFFERENTLY at different ages and stages. READ THE MANUAL CAREFULLY for these details.
  • Visit for more in-depth details.

Kara Bachman is a writer, editor, and mom to two teenage children.

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