Now that the weather has warmed up, you may be planning your summer agenda. Your plans might include outings to the park or pool, visits to amusement parks or maybe even a road trip. All of these things mean more time on the road. So, if you have children, now is a good time to make sure that your car seats are correctly installed.

Reports indicate that approximately three out of four car seats are improperly installed, which is terrible news. Car seats keep kids safe on the road, so make sure that your little one is buckled up properly before heading into another fun and busy summer.

Tips on Summer Car Seat Use

Buckle Up for Life, the national car seat safety program from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Toyota, has shared a few tips on how to most effectively use your car seat to keep your child safe while you are out and about this summer.

car seat

  • "Inch Test," "Pinch Test":
    For the "Inch Test," grasp the car seat from the back and bottom. Now, tug from side to side and front to back. If the seat moves more than an inch in either direction, it should be tightened. To see if your seat passes the "Pinch Test," pinch the car seat strap that is near your child's shoulder. If you are able to pinch a wrinkle in the fabric, you should tighten the strap until it is snug.
  • Avoid Adding Bulk:
    Don't let your good intentions get the best of you. Piling towels in your child's seat may seem like a good way to keep hot car seats cool in the summer, but you could end up doing more harm than good. The extra material might interfere with the seat's ability to restrain your child in the event of a crash.
  • Cool First: If you notice that your car seat is too hot to be comfortable, try to cool down the car before placing your child in the seat. Open the windows or turn on the air conditioner for a few minutes, then test the buckles to ensure that they have cooled down before allowing your little passengers to take their places in the vehicle.
  • Don't Rely on Rentals: Even if you are renting a car this summer, it is a good idea to use your own car seat. When you rent a seat, you may not know whether its integrity has been compromised by being in a crash or if an unseen piece has been broken as a result of normal use. If you are traveling by plane, you should still bring your car seat along. Most airlines will allow you to check them for free.
  • Secure Loose Items: Summer trips and activities often require you to have extra stuff in your car. So, if you have beach chairs, coolers, umbrellas or suitcases in your vehicle, make sure that these items are secured so that they don't become projectiles in the event of a crash.

Summertime is the perfect time for kids to create wonderful memories that they can cherish for life. Make sure that your child's recollections of summer are filled with nothing but fun and happy events by keeping them safely buckled up during all of their adventures.

Financing for Your Safe Ride

Having a safe and properly installed car seat will help tremendously when it comes to keeping your child safe while traveling. However, if your current vehicle isn't as reliable as it used to be, you may not feel like you are doing everything possible to protect your family on the road.

If it is time to upgrade your ride to a newer, safer model, Auto Credit Express can help you get the financing you need to make this purchase possible. Even if you have bad credit, we can connect you with a dealer in your area who is qualified and willing to work with your situation. We can take the hassle and stress out of auto loan approval. And all you need to do is fill out our fast and secure online application to get started today.

And don't forget about auto insurance. Make sure that you get the right coverage for your new or used car, truck, van or SUV for the best possible price. Click here to compare some of the most comprehensive and affordable policies on the market. Free, instant rate quotes are available now.