Healthier Me: the proper way to buckle your child's car seat

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says Sanford Children’s Community Life Educator Jody Jordet. We're all taught how to properly buckle up when inside a car, but are you making sure your kids are strapped in properly?

According to the Journal of Pediatrics, 43 percent of children who died from car crashes nationwide were improperly restrained.

"I would say about 50 percent of all misuse comes from the fact that people just don't read their owner's manual," says Sanford Children’s Community Life Educator Jody Jordet.

Jordet says three out of four children's car seats are used incorrectly. The most common mistake is that the car seat in the vehicle is too loose.

Whether it's rear-facing, forward facing or booster seats, you need to make sure your child is properly buckled.

"Anytime they are rear facing, 0 to 2 years old, you want the straps to be at or below their shoulders, so just want them to curve around their shoulder," says Jordet.

For forward facing car seats, you want to make sure the chest clip is at armpit level and the straps are at or above the shoulders.

"For forward facing, there is two ways you can install the car seat. You can use the lower anchors, which are a strap that come with the car seat and hook on to any vehicle made after 2003. You can install with the lower anchors along with the top tether for forward facing or you can install with a seat belt plus the top tether," says Jordet

You have to make sure the whole seat moves less than an inch from side to side at the belt path.

"When using a booster seat, you need to check that your kids are actually buckling in correctly, so tight against their lower hip area and then it touches them from their hip all the way up to their shoulder," says Jordet

Sanford does offer car seat safety checks. For more information click on the link in this story.