What Direction to Install Your Child’s Car Seat

Did you know the direction of your child’s car seat matters? Nancy explains which direction to install #TheRightSeat as a part of National Child Passenger Safety Week.


You finally made your car seat selection. Whew! You used the gold standard guidelines identified by the National Highway Safety Administration for the child’s age, weight, height, and developmental level. Congratulations!

Hi, I’m Nancy at Kneble’s Auto Service Center. Now, the next step to move forward with the safety is to determine what direction the car seat should be installed in the vehicle. Always follow the label on the side of the seat with the manufacturer’s recommendation. But be aware, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends keeping your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. Rear-facing seats distribute the force of the impact of the crash across the entire head and body, since it supports the entire head, neck, and back of the child, using the harness with keeping them securely in the seat. The child’s head moves with the seat, decreasing the possibility of head and neck injuries. Also, the car seat acts as a cocoon for the child, protecting the child during the accident.

Now some people want to put the car seat forward-facing when they notice their child’s feet reaching the back of the seat because they are afraid that child’s legs will get injured. I confess I had that thought myself with my child. But this is a fallacy that your child’s legs will become injured during an accident. Leg injury during an accident is a rare occurrence, so much so that it is still safer to keep the car seat rear-facing for as long as the child fits the maximum guidelines for the height and weight recommended by the manufacturer.

Continuing our video series tomorrow at 12:30, when we will be discussing choosing the right seat position in your vehicle for that car seat. Thank you for watching.