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Car Seat Strap Instructions

By Lindsay Maddox ; Updated April 18, 2017
Ensure a child's safety in the car with simple car seat strap instructions.

A child's safety is of utmost importance, especially when riding in a car. Ensuring his safety is simple with a few easy car seat strap instructions to use as a guide. Whether an infant carrier, convertible car seat or booster seat is used, there are a number of easy steps to ensure the car seat straps are positioned correctly and adjusted tightly.

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Infant Carrier Car Seat Strap Instructions

Place the baby in the car seat. Infant carriers should always be placed rear-facing, and the harness strap should be located at or below the baby's shoulder. If the harness strap is located above the baby's shoulder, utilize the car seat manual to determine how to correctly adjust the harness strap upward.

Connect the chest and crotch buckles. Adjust the chest buckle so that it is located in line with baby's armpits.

Tighten car seat straps, if necessary. Infant carriers have car seat strap adjustments in the back of the car seat. Pull outward on the harness strap to create slack, then pull upward on the strap to tighten.

Loosen the car seat straps by grasping the shoulder strap of the harness and simultaneously releasing the adjustment mechanism in the back of the car seat. Often, there is a lever to press down on to release the belt.

Convertible Car Seat Strap Instructions

Place the child in the seat and determine whether he is rear-facing or forward-facing. A rear-facing baby should have the shoulder straps at or below the shoulder level. A forward-facing child should have shoulder straps located at or above the shoulder level. If the harness level needs to be adjusted, refer to the instruction manual specific to the car seat brand.

Connect the chest and crotch buckles. Adjust the chest buckle so that it sits in line with the child's armpits.

Tighten the straps by pulling down on the strap located in the front of the car seat. Some car seat models have a knob adjustment on either side of the car seat. Grasp the knobs on both sides of the seat and turn until the car seat straps are tightened.

Loosen the straps by grasping the shoulder strap, pulling outward and simultaneously pressing on the release button at the front of the car seat. If the car seat utilizes a knob adjustment, press down on both of the yellow levers located on the inside edge of the knobs on each side of the car seat. Turn the knobs counter-clockwise and repeat, pressing the yellow levers, until the straps are adequately loosened.

Booster Car Seat Strap Instructions

Place the child correctly in the booster seat.

Place the child in booster seat, ensuring he is not slouching or bending over.

Pull the shoulder strap around child and secure the buckle.

Pull the car seat shoulder strap around the child and lock it into the female end of the buckle.

Pull out on the shoulder strap until the locking mechanism engages. Release the seat belt and pull tightly the around child.

Things You Will Need

  • Infant Carrier or
  • Convertible Car Seat or
  • Booster


Infants should ride rear-facing until one year of age or 20 lbs. Never place a rear-facing child in a seat with an active airbag. The back seat is the safest place for children under 12.

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About the Author

Lindsay Maddox has been writing professionally since 2008. Her pieces appear in Twin Trinity Media publications and on various websites. Most recently, she has been affiliated with Lifetime Network as a member of The Balancing Act blogging community. Maddox holds a Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Western Washington University.

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