If you've struggled to install a car seat, you know what a task that can be. What seems to be a pretty straight forward and simple task, leaves you dripping with sweat and shouting more four-letter words than a Quentin Tarantino film. You would think with all the technological advances available these days, you would be able to get your car seat put it without feeling like you need an advanced degree from an Ivy League college. As someone who's grappled with a few car seats in her day, I really want to know why aren't car seats easier to install? Because mama doesn't have all day to struggle with a latch system.
Let me be clear, all joking aside, just because a car seat is difficult to install doesn't mean it is not safe. Car seats are made to be safe — which is amazing — but car seats do not fit every car like a glove, there is no perfect match, according to Parents magazine. This means that many times parents are creating DIY solutions to level the car seat and keep it from sliding. But the generic and broad design of car seats is not the only factor to blame, there is more than one offender in this equation.
According to the website for Today, a study done by The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety found that many car seat problem stems from the vehicle rear seat design, which "works against parents’ best intentions." The shape and angle of the seat isn't always compatible with the car seat, making installation and fit problematic. Add to this obstacle the fact that, if you're fortunate enough to have a newer car that was made with a latch system, said latches are hard to find and confusing to use, as The New York Times pointed out.
If you've been fighting to get your child's car seat installed, you're not alone. As Ben Hoffman, a certified child passenger safety technician and instructor, told Parenting magazine, "the overwhelming majority of car seats are mis-intalled." This is due to some common mistakes that are a result of the complicated guides that can be confusing for parents trying to instal a car seat.
To make sure you've installed your car seat correctly, or if you need assistance with the installation, locate and contact a local National Child Passenger Safety Certified technician to give you a helping hand. Then once that car seat is locked in, go buy yourself a donut (or 12). You've earned it.