Cosco Car Seat Directions

By Teri Silver
sleeping in a car image by Renata Osinska from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Car seats for infants and small children are important to use, and in most states,it's the law. If you own a Cosco car seat, whether it uses the standard seat-belt method or the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren), which attaches the car seat directly to the vehicle seat, you must be very sure to follow the installation directions carefully in order to secure the car seat tightly.

Infant Car Seat: Vehicle Seat Belt

Place the car seat in the middle of the vehicle seat, if possible, and position it so that the baby faces the rear. Thread the vehicle belt through the slots and buckle it. Adjust the straps; pull them tightly. The seat can be placed on the side of the vehicle seat if the center does not provide a good fit.

Push the seat down with your knee or hand and pull the tail of the belt as tightly as possible, placing the slackened belt through the path.

Lock the vehicle seat belt by pulling its top; you should hear a type of clicking sound as the belt tightens.

baby on board image by Valentin Mosichev from Fotolia.com

Check the reclining angle of the car seat and adjust the harness so that the slots are at or below the baby's shoulders. Move the car seat up and down and side to side; if it moves less than one inch, you have an acceptable fit.

Infant Car Seat: LATCH System

Refer to the manual of your particular Cosco car seat model; the seat must be equipped to use the LATCH system. Find the anchor bars (two U-shaped hooks) installed in the vehicle seat bights (intersection of the vehicle seat back and bottom cushions). Hook one side of the seat to the anchor bar and then the other side.

Pull the belts tight. While pressing the seat down with your knee or hand, tug on the straps. If the vehicle seat has rigid LATCH connectors, they will adjust themselves as you push them tighter.

Check the fit by moving the car seat from all angles again. If it moves by less than an inch, it is tight enough.

Booster Car Seat: Vehicle Seat Belt

Place the car seat against the back seat of your car. The car seat should be straight and not in the recline position. Place the vehicle's seat or shoulder belt through the path of the car seat. Buckle the vehicle seat belt into the vehicle's seat-belt buckle latch.

Place your knee in the car seat and push the seat down. Tighten the seat belt. Attach the hook to anchor in the vehicle; do this with your knee in the car seat. Push the seat down and tighten the top anchor strap.

Tilt and rock the car seat back and forth and from side to side with one hand, while the other hand is holding the seat. If the belt is tight, then the seat is secure. Repeat the process, if there is more than one inch of slack on the seat belt.

Place the child in the car seat and connect the harness straps over his shoulders. Buckle each plate; you will hear a "click" when the buckle is secure.

Pull up on the harness straps so that the buckle is tightly locked. Snap the harness retainer and adjust the strap so that it fits snugly on your child's chest but away from his neck.

Booster Car Seat: LATCH System

Refer to the manual of your particular Cosco car seat model; the seat must be equipped to use the LATCH system. Thread the latch belt through the upper slot in the side of the seat. Pull one latch hook across the back and out the other side; you can have the latch-adjuster on either side of the seat as long as the belt is straight. Place the car seat forward against the back seat of your car.

Attach the latch belt-hooks to the vehicle seat's anchors, located on both ends of the vehicle seats. Place your knee in the car seat and push the seat down. Pull up the loop to tighten the car seat. If the vehicle does not have an anchor-strap bracket, tuck the top anchor strap hook under the car seat.

Weigh down the car seat with your knee and attach the hook to the vehicle's anchor. Push the seat down and tighten the top anchor strap. Place one hand at the belt path of the seat and the use the other hand to tilt the car seat from side to side and forward to back. If the belts are tight, then the car seat is secured.

Booster Car Seat: Belt-Positioning Booster Mode

Remove the five-point harness; it is not necessary. Unfasten the harness straps from the plate on the car seat's back. Pull the harness through the front of the seat and remove it the from the retainer and buckle plates. Remove the harness straps.

Recline the seat and reach under it to find the buckle's metal clip. Turn the metal clip and insert it up through the seat and pad. Pull the buckles off the seat.

Tuck the top anchor hook and the removed pieces into the back base of the car seat. Set the car seat upright and place it flush against the vehicle seat. Place your child fully in the seat and pull the vehicle's lap and shoulder belts across her thighs. Lock the buckle.

Position the shoulder belt so that it crosses the base of your child's neck; pull the strap through a notch in the positioning guide attached to the vehicle seat. Tighten the shoulder belt.

About the Author

Teri Silver began a career in 1984 as a news, sports and feature writer/reporter, anchor, editor, producer and program host for central Ohio radio and television stations. She has done work for stations including WTVN, WMNI and WOSU (NPR). Silver has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism with an English minor from The Ohio State University.