Pico Installation Do's and Don’ts

Kids don’t come with a manual - but car seats do! By the way, here’s ours

We wanted to supplement our manual with some more tips and tricks for installing the Pico Car Seat:

Headrest - First off, be sure to take the Pico’s headrest out of its storage position. The storage position is the lowest position, where the headrest is flush with the top of the seat back. When installing the Pico, the headrest should always be in one of the notches in the headrest bar. The maximum height limit is when the straps are level with the shoulders, or when the tops of the ears are level with the top of the headrest in its highest position, whichever occurs first.

Chest Clip - The chest clip should always be positioned at armpit level on your little one. You should be able to draw a straight line from one of your kiddo’s armpits to the other, with the chest clip sitting snugly in between.

Tether - We always recommend using the tether when available for added safety, whether you’re installing via the LATCH system or with a seatbelt. Using the top tether reduces the likelihood of head and neck injuries in a crash by preventing the child’s head from moving too far forward and impacting the back of the seat in front of them (or the center console depending on car seat placement). However, the Pico can still be safely installed without the use of the tether if it is not available.

Harness/Pinch Test ("One-Finger Test") - The harness should be snug on your kiddo and have no extra slack - just like a hug! There are two great tests to check if your little one is strapped in snug enough in their harness. The first test is called the “Pinch Test” and goes about exactly how it sounds. Once your little one is secured in their harness, you’ll want to take your thumb and pointer finger and pinch the harness belting above the chest clip. If you’re able to easily grab up any slack in your pinch, then the harness needs to be tightened. 

The second test is referred to as the “One Finger Test.” To perform this harness check, slip one finger underneath the harness above the chest clip. If you can slip two or more fingers in there stacked on top of each other lengthwise, then you’ll want to go ahead and tighten up that harness a little more until you can only fit one finger comfortably.

Seat Itself ("One Inch Test") - To make sure the Pico Car Seat itself is installed tightly enough, we have something called the “One Inch Test.” When the Pico is correctly installed, you should not be able to move it more than an inch in any direction (front to back or side to side). If you can move it more than an inch, then you know you need to tighten the installation. This test is effective regardless of whether you install with the LATCH system or a seatbelt.

Seat Gap - When you install the Pico, it should be sitting as upright and flush with the back of your vehicle’s seat as possible. If you can see a gap between the Pico and the vehicle seat, you’ll want to readjust the way the Pico is sitting and complete the “One Inch Test” to ensure it’s installed as tightly as possible.

Keep It Tidy! - And finally, the Pico comes with handy velcro bands to organize and manage any extra slack in the harness and lower anchor webbing. We recommend making use of these bands to tuck away any excess webbing and decrease the risk of the belting getting in the way or even hitting the child in the event of a crash.

For more resources and videos on how to best secure your little one in the Pico Car Seat, please visit our Resources page. For more information regarding WAYB’s Safety Standards, please visit our Safety Standards page.