The proper ways of installing children car seats

Forward seat, rear seat, or booster seatâ?¦which one is the best for your child to use while in a car? With 7 out of 10 kids at risk to be involved in a traffic crash and nearly 73% of all child restraints not being used correctly, many parents in the Heartland want to know the right tips. Letâ??s start with using the correct seat for the appropriate age group.

"Rear facing is for everyone under a year old. It's now recommended for 18 months to 2 years. As long as your car seat can hold your child rear facing, it's recommended that they stay like that. It's much safer Once they go forward facing, they could do that after a year, but it's still better to do rear facing as long as possible, until you car seat says it can't do forward facing anymore. They can't do a booster seat with a seat belt until they are at least 4 years old or 40 pounds. Between 4 to 8 years old, they need to be in a booster seat with a seat belt, " said Kat Probst of The Adair County Ambulance District.

Now you know which seats belong to which age groups, Probst wants you to remember the two most important things you must follow when installing and securing your seat.

"Always check the seat belt line and that the car seat doesn't move more than 1 inch from it. Another thing is to make sure the straps are tight with two fingers between the child and the strap itself and that the shoulder retainer is at the arm pit level," Probst said.

For those of you who ride pick-up trucks, it's important to keep the child car seat as far away from the dashboard as possible and to turn off the airbags.

It's also important to know to always look out for any type of cracks and the expiration date to replace the child car seat.

If you need any help with installing your childâ??s car seat. The Adair County Ambulance District on 606 W. Potter Ave in Kirksville does checks free of charge Monday-Friday from 8a-5p or by appointment at (660) 665-0000. The Kirksville Fire Department also does free checks