So you have a large family with one more on the way. This means you need lots of passenger and cargo space. Then the optimal vehicle for you is an SUV. One that will easily match your family’s needs is the 2016 Toyota Highlander. It’s equipped with three rows of seats for up to eight passengers and an abundance of cargo space. Plus, it comes with a host of high-tech gadgets that will help entertain the kids – especially when they morph into their teen years.
But, before they become teens, they have to get through all of those baby and little kid years first. And, as you already know, babies and children require car seats in order to keep them safe. Whether you are brand-new to the world o car seats or if you could just use a refresh, here are some important things to know.
Rear- or Forward-Facing Car Seats
Depending on the age of your child, you will need one of two safety seats: rear-facing or forward-facing. Rear-facing safety seats are specifically designed for infants and children up to about age two years of age. When your child outgrows their rear-facing car seat – typically around age two depending on the child – they can then sit in a forward-facing seat. This seat should be attached via tethers to top and lower attachments.
Whether your child needs a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat, always place the seat in the backseat only. Also ensure the seat is connected and secured properly. (Check your instruction manual for installation.)
To make sure your car seat is installed correct, here are some guidelines to follow.
- Inch Test. A car seat that is installed properly will not move more than an inch. Once your car seat is installed, test it by grabbing onto its base where the seatbelt goes through it to secure it. If you can move it more than an inch from side to side or front to back, it is not installed correctly.
- Pinch Test. Along with the car seat itself, it is also important to check the harness straps when your child is bucked in. With the check clip buckled and placed on the chest at armpit level, pinch the strap at your child’s shoulder. If you are unable to pinch strap excess then it is secured properly. If you are able to pinch excess from the strap, tighten it then test again.
If you think the days of car seats are over when your child finally outgrows their forward-facing seat, think again. First comes rear-facing, next comes forward-facing, then comes a booster seat. The main difference between booster seats and car seats is that booster seats use your car’s real seatbelt to protect your child instead of coming with its own set of harness straps. Kids should be kept in their booster seat for as long as possible (between 40 to 80 pounds).
Think your child’s ready to ditch car seats and booster seats completely? Follow this checklist to find out.
- Child must be tall enough to sit without slouching, with knees bent at the edge of the seat, with feet on the floor.
- Lap belt must fit low and tight across child’s upper thighs.
- Shoulder belt should rest over the shoulder and across the chest.
- Child is taller than 4 ft. 9 inches tall.
For information on the 2016 Toyota Highlander and car-seat rules and regulations, visit our dealership in Gallatin, Madison and Nashville, TN.
Ron Hibbard Toyota specializes in new and used Toyota cars, trucks, hybrids and SUVs. Search for a Toyota 4Runner, Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Land Cruiser, Matrix, Prius, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Venza, Yaris, and more. Located in Gallatin, Tennessee. Serving Nashville, Lebanon, Hendersonville, Westmoreland, Mt. Juliet, Hartsville and Clarksville.