A common cause of car seat frustration is twisted straps. These can bind in the locking mechanisms and give parents a false sense that the harness is tight when it isn't, or they may distribute force over a smaller area than it should, which could amplify injury in a crash. In addition, a twisted strap is narrower and puts the child at greater risk for being pulled or thrown from the seat, increasing their injury potential.
Car seat straps get twisted and tangled seemingly on their own, but there is a simple trick to untwisting them before each use. As the 'Car Seat Lady' demonstrates in this video, it's as easy as folding a little triangle in the end of the strap and pulling it over it. This makes the process of getting baby buckled in smoother and prevents straps from twisting when they're not being used.
Another common mistake that leads to twisted straps is using fabric cleaners or anti-bacterial sprays, which can break down the fibers of the straps and weaken them. Instead, wipe the harness and red buckle with a damp cloth and hoover any food that has built up in or around the buckle and button. Some cars also have special pockets for the harness buckle to help keep it clean - be sure to check your user manual to see how to access and use these.