The International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Inc

Permanence: Video 9 Holly Van Guilden

Holly Van Gulden describes exercises or games for parents/carers to use with children to help build permanence.


Permanence Video 8 Permanence 8 - How can you build permanence?

Holly Van Gulden speaks about how to build permenence into a child's life.


Go to Permanence Video 9

Permance Video 9: Exercises & Game for Permanence Reinforcement

Holly Van Gulden describes exercises or games for parents/carers to use with children to help build permanence.


Back to Attachment and Bonding

Trauma and its Impact (Presentation by Marcie Cohen, LCSW)

Many INCIID consumers consider adding to their families through adoption. The attachment and bonding with a child who enters your family through adoption will be different. Sometimes children have significant trauma histories. Sometimes our consumers have children under difficult birth circumstances and there is medical trauma. If you have a child who has experienced any kind of early trauma including medical trauma, or who has witnessed domestic violence, or maybe your child is internationally adopted, or adopted from foster care or you are a foster parent; you may want to look through this presentation. Early childhood trauma can mean significant issues with a child's education. These issues or behavior are very often misunderstood. Marcie Cohen is a social worker in a major Northern Virginia school district. Fairfax County Public Schools are informing their staff, teachers and parents about the importance of trauma sensitivity and awareness.

A presentation from Marcie Cohen, MSW, LCSW during a special education conference for Fairfax County Public Schools in Northern Virginia on March 1, 2014


When an Adoption Doesn't Go as Planned

When an Adoption Journey Doesn't Go as Planned
An essay from the heart.


My husband and I went through 7 years of infertility and lost four angels to miscarriage before we had our one and only live birth. My conception and pregnancy were both nightmares. There was nothing easy we did to either get or stay pregnant and giving birth was not much different. These experiences were filled with fear, dread and dealing with multiple roadblocks. There were a number of midnight trips to the emergency room before my one scary live birth story. But at the end of this ordeal, was a healthy, happy baby. We were overjoyed and settled quickly into everyday parenting of our first miracle child.

It is no surprise then, it took us four years to even begin to discuss how we would add a second child to our family. But add we did on May 23, 2001 in the lobby of the third floor of the China Hotel, a stunning little Cantonese beauty!  Another long road traveled but this time through adoption. Our expectations the second time the same --- a healthy baby. This time, however, the twists and turns were not in the conception or adoption but in the parenting of our new little miracle.

On January 1, 2000 we decided we wouldn’t pursue fertility treatment this go around but instead adopt to grow our family. We used a local agency, added our names to a number of listservs and jumped feet first into the throes of the “paper chase”. As in birth, our adoption was eagerly anticipated with great exuberance and expectations of a future filled with happy parenting complete with a built in big sister.

So often I heard other eager waiting parents refer to their adoption as a “leap of faith”.  But then life is a leap of faith too. No one is guaranteed tomorrow or a perfect child --- not through birth or adoption. Although feeling thoroughly prepared through research, education and support groups, our life changed in a number of ways the day little Xiao Rong entered our family.

It was a heart-pounding, exciting and exhilarating experience full of anticipation when the orphanage personnel handed over this little tiny twig of a baby. This minuscule little girl was 14 months and a whopping 13 pounds (the size of a four-month old). In the months to come, we would discover our sweet little girl had a number of developmental delays, chronic anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder and a variety of letters and acronyms all boiling down to one damaged little girl who had suffered greatly and who desperately needed specialized professional care as well as a savvy family to navigate a labyrinth of procedures, treatment and a magnitude of healing. I remember flying home from China and wondering how this child was going to change our family dynamic. Our life would be out of the ordinary and not what we had planned. Having had more than a decade of experience teaching handicapped children, and being an older parent, I knew life would be “special” and I worried about being “up to” the tasks ahead.

Before we made this trip to China, we agreed the child selected by the CCAA and entrusted to us would be the child we were destined to parent. This was our leap of faith. I think to deny the feelings of loss, loss of that dream, of a whole child, a “normal” little sister to her sibling, would be to deny what everyone hopes for when they have a family. Somehow I felt to accept this circumstance as a loss of a dream, was somehow rejecting our child. I came to learn that accepting this loss was the biggest hurdle to clear and enabled me to move on and to truly appreciate the miracle this baby was in our hearts and lives.
At first I felt very alone, another loss in a string of multiple losses, more challenges and added stress. It occurred to me a key component for successfully working through this is the strong bond between husband and wife. Our marriage withstood the loss of four babies and because of the willingness to communicate on new levels and continuing to work as a team, we strive to carefully navigate the maze in order to meet our daughter’s special needs, taking each day as it comes one day at a time. 
Sometimes I feel myself tensing up, thinking about what the future holds and worrying about what I might have to cope with tomorrow. But then I look to my youngest daughter. She is my hero, my miracle. What adult do you know who could have survived abandonment at birth, month after month of neglect in severe  physical pain, all with no coping skills, no language with which to answer back, no support group, no therapist to talk to, no friends and no family to nurture her. She was stripped of her dignity, her future and her culture; kidnapped by strangers but she never gave up. I see her tenacity and her strength and it gives me strength. I am so honored to be her mother.  God must really believe I have the integrity, skill and love to put this little life in my hands. Yes, it is a responsibility and sometimes feels like a weight on our shoulders but it’s also an awesome gift and a miracle. 
It’s been 5 years and thousands of miles since I first experienced those feelings of grief on the plane ride home to the US. Instead of loss, I am just beginning to realize how really fortunate we are. When adopting internationally, you’ll often hear how wonderful it is that we “rescued” an orphan. But the truth is, our little Cantonese beauty rescued all of us. To live life without our youngest family member is unthinkable.  We’ve been so fortunate and not once but twice blessed with beautiful daughters; one who grew under my heart and the other who grew in it. My older daughter born after a 7 year struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss, and our youngest adopted May 23, 2001 mainland China. What more could any parent ask for?


Adoption Advocacy - National Zoo Exploits Children with Adopt-a Confusion

Dear Adoption Community

I received the following letter from the National Zoo's Deputy Director in response to the letter I sent several weeks ago. As you can see from their response, it is clear they don't "get it". I sent Mr. Schroeder a copy of the Adopt-a Confusion fact sheet as well as a letter encouraging them to stop using the adopt-a theme which I as way as many experts and researchers believe exploits children.

Please write to them and tell them adopt-a confusion is not OK and feel free to pass this on to anyone who has an interest in educating the public about respectful adoption language and the problematic programs using adopt-a confusion to raise money for their respective causes!



Nancy P. Hemenway
INCIID Executive Director
(703) 379-9178 (Office)
(703) 379-1593 (FAX)

Dear Ms. Hemenway:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about our Adopt a Species program: This has been an exceptionally busy period for FONZ and I apologize for the delayed response.

Our intention in using the phrase "adopt a species" is deliberately metaphoric and symbolic, and in no way trivializes the process of building a human family through adoption. We hope to inspire people to make a lifetime commitment to cro;ing about and working toward a secure future for wild animals and the habitats they need to survive, analogous, although certainly not identical, to, the comtp.itment adoptive parents make to their children. We also hope that the financial contribution that people make to adopt a wild animal species is just one of many ways that they help to ensure the survival of wildlife, just as financial support is just one of the many ways that parents ensure the welfare of their children, adopted or not.

After receiving your email, I asked the advise of a thoughtful 21-year-old who is an adopted child. The following is from her response:
I like the phrase "adopt a species." Although you're not taking the animal home, expressing your human love for it, and nurturing it through years ofJife until you send it off to college-you can, and I've witnessed people, fall in love with an animal (in a broader sense) and devote time and money to its cause-which, in my opinion, is just as worthy of the term "adoption." As a child growing up in the environment-conscious nineties I often heard the term adopt in phrases like "adopt a whale" "adopt a highway" and "adopt an endangered species" and never once did it bother me. In fact I thoughtit was really cute and really great-,-and really liked the idea of "adopting" even a highway. I loved seeing the "adopt a highway" or "adopt a road" signs and reading which school children were taking care of it. Kids are way tougher and smarter than parents believe. They know the difference. If anything, I know similar phrases ~arked (in me and other kids dreams of actually adopting a panda and having the panda live with us for a lifetime to become a true family member-what a fantasy!

Indeed, this is the experience of just one child, but I suspect that hers is representative of that of many children. Undoubtedly, as your examples indicate, some other children may be puzzled about how their adoption is like or unlike these other "adoptions." However, we have structured our programs to avoid the suggestion that someone is literally adopting a particular individual animal or that one animal is worth more than other. Our program encourages people to adopt an entire species, emphasizing the metaphor, and attaches identical value to each of the species that people can adopt. We do not substitute a new species for adoption each year-people can and do symbolize their commitment to wildlife conservation by adopting the same species for many years. .

We agree that some adopt programs are silly, and that the "adQption" of a pothole or a light bulb in no way compares to adopting a child; in our view, neither of these compares either to adopting a species, in the sense of making a commitment to caring for the future of the animals with whom we share the planet.

James M. Schroeder
Deputy Executive Director Friends of the National Zoo Washington, D.C. 20008

Friends of the National Zoo. Smithsonian's National Zoological Park, 3001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008, 202 6734961.

Below Please find below the National Zoo  CONTACT INFORMATION 

Please politely inform the zoo staff and board members that The National Zoo has suffered so much embarrassing controversy lately, that exploitive and controversial adopt-a programs might expose the zoo to more negative attention from the adoptive professional and parenting community.
If you have time --- By far, a neatly hand written or typed letter gets much more attention than sending an email. Sending an email as a follow-up is effective, but for the greatest impact make sure to send that postal letter. Since it takes a little bit more work than just sending an email it shows that you really care about the topic if you are willing to put in the extra effort. 

Zoo Staff

Smithsonian National Zoological Park
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008 

Lucy Spelman,, Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo
Clinton A. Fields,, Executive Director, FONZ
Jim Schroeder,, Deputy Executive Director, FONZ

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) Board of Directors 

To contact any FONZ Board Member, send an email 

Or send postal mail to:

Friends of the National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20008 

Lloyd W. Howell, Jr., President of the Board of Directors 

Mark R. Handwerger, First Vice President 

Jeffrey Lande, Second Vice President 

Grace Y. Toh, Treasurer 

Nicole M. Chestang, Secretary 

Other Directors: Thomas B. Arundel, Marcie Bane, Patricia A. Bradley, Jeanne Beekhuis, Christopher Capuano, Robert V. Davis, Sheila M. Ford, Michele V. Hagans, James F. Hinchman, Richard C. Hotvedt, Bernard K. Jarvis, Alberta A. "Missy" Kelly, Robyn S. Kravit, Gloria Kreisman, Harald R. Leuba, Suzanne Mink, Sue Ruff, Edward A. Sands, Eric Douglas Weiss, and John J. Ziolkowski 

Smithsonian Institute Contact Information

Smithsonian Institute
PO Box 37012 
SI Building, Room 153, MRC 010 
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012 

Smithsonian National Zoo Board of Regents 

Regents ex officio 
Chancellor William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States, c/o Smithsonian Institution MRC-016, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, ph 202.479.3400 

Vice President Richard B. Cheney,, postal addr as above or The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20500, ph 202.456.1414 

Congressional Regents 
Senator Thad Cochran,,, postal addr c/o Smithsonian Institute (SI) or 326 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510-2402, fx 202.224.9450, ph 202.224.5054 Senator 

Bill Frist,, postal addr c/o SI or 416 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510, fx 202.228.1264, ph 202.224.3344 

Senator Patrick J. Leahy, , postal addr c/o SI or 433 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510, fx 202.224.3479, ph 202.224.4242 

Honorable Sam Johnson, , postal addr c/o SI or 1211 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, fx 202.225.1485, ph 202.225.4201 

Honorable Robert T. Matsui,, postal addr c/o SI or 2310 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515, fx 202.225.0566, ph 202.225.7163 

Honorable Ralph Regula,, postal addr c/o SI or 2306 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, fx 202.225.3059, ph 202.225.3876 

Citizen Regents 
Honorable Barber B. Conable Jr.,, P.O. Box 218, Alexander, NY 14005, fx 202.477.6391, ph 716.591.1233 

Dr. Anne d'Harnoncourt,, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Benjamin Franklin Parkway and 26th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (or P.O.Box 7646, Philadelphia PA 19101-7646), fx 215.232.4338, ph 215.763.8100 or 215.684.7600 

Dr. Hanna H. Gray,, University of Chicago, Department of History, 1126 East 59th St., SS Box 109, Chicago IL 60637-1539, fx 773.702.4600, ph 773.702.7799 

Dr. Manuel Ibanez,, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Dept. of Biology, P.O. Box 158, Station 1, Kingsville, Texas 78363 (or 7737 Starnberg Lake Dr., Corpus Christi TX 78413-5288), ph 361.854.5818 

Dr. Walter E. Massey,, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, GA 30314, fx 404.659.6536, ph 404.681.2800 

Mr. Roger W. Sant,, The Summit Foundation, 2099 Pennsylvania Ave. NW 10th fl, Washington, DC 20006, fx 202.912.2901, ph 202.912.2900 

Mr. Alan G. Spoon,, Polaris Venture Partners, 1000 Winter Street, Suite 3350, Waltham, MA 02451-1215, fx 781.290.0880, ph 781.290.0770 (or 7300 Loch Edin Ct, Potomac MD 20854-4835, ph 301.365.4650) 

Ms. Patty Stonesifer,, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, PO Box 23350, Seattle, WA 98102, fx 206.709.3184, ph 206.709.3100 

Mr. Wesley S. Williams Jr.,, Covington & Burling, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004-2401, fx 202.778.5628, ph 202.662.5628 (or 7706 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington DC 20090, 202.726.3631) 

Also -- for alerts please sign up for our Adoption Hit List.

Consumer Product Safety for Parents

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Be Sure Your Child Care Setting Is As Safe As It Can Be

Note: CPSC's safety recommendations regarding window cord hazards have been
updated. See Children Can Strangle in Window Covering Cords
html or pdf
Spanish Version (pdf)

About 31,000 children, 4 years old and younger, were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for injuries at child care/school settings in 1997. CPSC is aware of at least 56 children who have died in child care settings since 1990.
In a recent national study, CPSC staff visited a number of child care settings and found that two-thirds of them had one or more potentially serious hazards. Use the safety tips in this checklist (or the published, illustrated version in pdf  (Texto Español) to help keep young children safe.

Child Care Safety Checklist for Parents and Child Care Providers

  • CRIBS: Make sure cribs meet current national safety standards and are in good condition. Look for a certification safety seal. Older cribs may not meet current standards. Crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8" apart, and mattresses should fit snugly.

This can prevent strangulation and suffocation associated with older cribs and mattresses that are too small.

  • SOFT BEDDING: Be sure that no pillows, soft bedding, or comforters are used when you put babies to sleep. Babies should be put to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm, flat mattress.

This can help reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and suffocation related to soft bedding.

  • PLAYGROUND SURFACING: Look for safe surfacing on outdoor playgrounds - at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand or pea gravel, or mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials.

This helps protect against injuries from falls, especially head injuries.

  • PLAYGROUND MAINTENANCE: Check playground surfacing and equipment regularly to make sure they are maintained in good condition.

This can help prevent injuries, especially from falls.

  • SAFETY GATES: Be sure that safety gates are used to keep children away from potentially dangerous areas, especially stairs.

Safety gates can protect against many hazards, especially falls.

  • WINDOW BLIND AND CURTAIN CORDS: Be sure miniblinds and venetian blinds do not have looped cords. Check that vertical blinds, continuous looped blinds, and drapery cords have tension or tie-down devices to hold the cords tight. Check that inner cord stops have been installed. See for the latest blind cord safety information.

These safety devices can prevent strangulation in the loops of window blind and curtain cords.

  • CLOTHING DRAWSTRINGS: Be sure there are no drawstrings around the hood and neck of children's outerwear clothing. Other types of clothing fasteners, like snaps, zippers, or hook and loop fasteners (such as Velcro), should be used.

Drawstrings can catch on playground and other equipment and can strangle young children.

  • RECALLED PRODUCTS: Check that no recalled products are being used and that a current list of recalled children's products is readily visible.

Recalled products pose a threat of injury or death. Displaying a list of recalled products will remind caretakers and parents to remove or repair potentially dangerous children's toys and products.

Child Care: Resources

Child Care Aware
Child Care Aware is a non-profit initiative committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality child care and child care resources in their community. We do this by raising visibility for local child care resource and referral agencies nationwide, and by connecting parents with the local agencies best equipped to serve their needs

Finding Help to Pay for Child Care
Child care assistance is available to eligible families through State agencies that administer Federal grants. Each state determines eligibility requirements for families within their state. A list of state agencies can be found on the National Child Care Information Center web site

Heath & Safety Regulations for Child Care

The National Resource Center for Health and Safety promotes health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation. Visit their web site at to learn more about your State's health and safety requirements for child care.

Tax Benefits and Qualifying for Tax Credits
Information on tax credits from the federal government and free tax help is provided below:

Eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): Employed low-income persons1—those earning less than $29,201/yr with one child or $33,178/yr with more than one child—are eligible for a credit of up to $2,506/yr. and $4,140/yr. respectively. You can get this credit in a lump sum at the end of year by filing form 1040 or 1040A along with "Schedule EIC." You can apply for this credit for up to 3 years back. Another way is to receive this credit throughout the year by increasing your take-home pay—you file form W-5 (EITC Advance Payment Certificate). Ask your employer or call the IRS 800 number for the W-5. Note: You can get an EITC payment even if you owe NO taxes.
Child Tax Credit: You can get a reduction of taxes owed (or a refund if you owe nothing) of up to $600 (depending upon your income) per each dependent child under 17 if you earn more than $10,350 by filing Form 8812 – “Additional Child Tax Credit.”
Child and Dependent Care Credit (CDCC) allows credit for 20%-30% (depending on income) of a family's child care expenses up to a certain limit. You would file the Form called “Child and Dependent Care Expenses.”

Call IRS's toll free number: 800-829-3676 for information on these three Tax Credit programs and the forms needed to apply for them. You can also visit IRS's website for information: Free help in preparing tax returns is available through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Site at 1-800-829-1040.

Chat Transcript: Attaching in Adoption: An Online chat with Deborah Gray

Attaching in Adoption:
An online chat with Deborah Gray

Ann Downie: Hello I wanted to say I really love your book, [Attaching in Adoption]. My question: Our 20 month old has been home 6 months. She is very jealous of her 7 year old brother. What do we (including brother) need to do to encourage attachment

Deborah Gray: She is still having trouble like many do because they have a hard time getting used to sharing attention.
Many of these children feel attention is scare because of where they came from.
Look at your little girl in the face, then clearly tell her we love our boy too so be nice to your brother. Please don't her bat at him. When she screams as he gets attention tell her firmly but kindly, "We love you both." Continue to give him attention in front of her but save your biggest reactions for when the two of them are interacting positively.

Robin E.: While in China should both my husband and myself feed her or me since I will stay at home with her.

Deborah Gray: It doesn't matter
Sometimes if the child has been fostered first they will reject the mother. Be prepared for this as it can feel devastating.
But after the intitial shock wears off you'll get your turn
Attachment between your child and you will take time. But you have lots of time. The first few days just concentrate on being as senstitive and soothing for her as much as possible.
Do whatever it takes to calm her down even if your husband does all the feeding.

lesliep29: We're having a lot of problems with our daughter who's 13. She says she wants to get removed from our family. We have regular blowups. How can we help her express her anger in a less damagi
Deborah Gray: This normal at this stage

She's grieving and has not accepted the finality of the loss of her birth parents. Support her grief and let her know that you're very sad with her that she didn't have the opportunity to live and stay with her birth mother. Be sure she understands that this isn't a choice she can make -- She can't reject you and go back to China.
Ask the caseworker who did the placement to visit
describing to your daughter the limitations of her options.
Get the caseworker to help her become reality based
Rather than arguing about it with her -- get the casewroker to come and do this as a post placement cap.
Children who have lived within institutions don't understand anything about the way the world works. They have no understanding of life except inside the instititution.
Many times they think someone is coming and when they finally are placed. They also think someday they will go back.
She needs to work with someone who is not a family member around these issues maybe with the help of an interpretor.
lesliep29: Deborah, thanks. I understand better now. I'll have to work on helping DH to understand it. He's the one who gets the brunt of the anger. Her English is actually very good. How honest she's being with her therapist is another matter.
Deborah Gray: Ask for some family sessions with the family therapist. It seems like she may be "stuck".
Robin E.: How do we help an infant grieve?
Deborah Gray: [9-16 months] These infants have alarms at leaving their care givers. Sooth them and calm them down.
It depends on the individual child with what the grief reaction will be . Children tend to lose their regulation when they lose their caregiver.
Do a lot of soothing and comforting in all areas of their daily life'

Nancy: I adopted my now 18 month old when she was 10 months, how do I know she is attached?
Deborah Gray:

  • Does she reach out for you
  • Does she try to stay close to you
  • Do yher eyes follow you around the room
  • Does she try to show you a toy or an accomplishment
  • Would she rather be with you then others almost all the time

There is a check list in my book "Attaching in Adoption"
At this long in the home you should see she's preferring the parent to others. This is where you should be able to begin to see it

keri: Please describe "high structure" parenting as you refer to it in your book
Deborah Gray: High Structure parenting is informed by knowing that children feel best if their enviroment is consistent highly nurturing and predictible. HSP only gives children the number of choices that they can really handle. As children grow into the ability to handle more choices then the structure is loosened. Initially the structure helps them tremendously in learning how to take advantage of a possitive environment rather than using control
or poor choices to gain attention or to gain priviledges.
The structure insures the positive choices, priviledges and attention.

Deborah Gray: It's been a pleasure to be with you this afternoon but I must leave now . I hope to be back in a few months to see how everyone is doing.

Deborah D. Gray, MSW, MPA author of the 2002 book Attaching in Adoption: Practical Tools for Today's Parents is a clinical social worker specializing in attachment, grief, and trauma. She enjoys helping children and their parents in situations where deprivation or attachment losses make attachment formation challenging. In her private practice with the Attachment Center Northwest, parents are usually present in the therapy sessions to provide comfort and safety for their children's trauma work, or to work with their children on attachment-related issues. Her philosophy empowers parents with information, offering new skills and techniques to meet the needs of their children.Deborah Gray lives in Washington state with her husband and their three children. Contact her at

General Car Seat Guidelines

General Child Seat Use Information
Buckle Everyone. Children Age 12 and Under in Back!



Age /


Seat Type /

Seat Position

Usage tips
Infants Birth to at least 1 year and at least 20 pounds

Infant-Only Seat/rear-facing or Convertible Seat/used rear-facing.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
Less than 1 year/ 20-35 lbs.

Convertible Seat/used rear-facing (select one recommended for heavier infants).

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Never use in a front seat where an air bag is present.
  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing the rear.
  • Child seat should recline at approximately a 45 degree angle.
  • Harness straps/slots at or below shoulder level (lower set of slots for most convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
1 to 4 years/ at least 20 lbs. to approximately 40 lbs

Convertible Seat/forward-facing or Forward-Facing Only or High Back Booster/Harness.

Seats should be secured to the vehicle by the seat belts or by the LATCH system.

  • Tightly install child seat in rear seat, facing forward.
  • Harness straps/slots at or above child’s shoulders (usually top set of slots for convertible child safety seats).
  • Harness straps snug on child; harness clip at armpit level.
4 to at least 8 years/unless they are 4’9" (57") tall.

Belt-Positioning Booster (no back, base only) or High Back Belt-Positioning Booster.

NEVER use with lap-only belts—belt-positioning boosters are always used with lap AND shoulder belts.

  • Booster base used with adult lap and shoulder belt in rear seat.
  • Shoulder belt should rest snugly across chest, rests on shoulder; and should NEVER be placed under the arm or behind the back.
  • Lap-belt should rest low, across the lap/upper thigh area—not across the stomach.