Choosing the Safest Car Seat for Your Child
3 out of 4 car seats aren’t used correctly. Surprised?
It’s Child Passenger Safety Week and we’ve got the guide to help you determine which car seat is right for your child.
Having a car seat that’s appropriate for your child’s size and age — and that has been installed properly — is essential. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash. To make sure your child is as safe as possible while in car, choose the right car seat for their size and age. Here’s our go to guide.
Age: Birth – 12 months
Recommendation: Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Age: 1-3 years old
Recommendation: Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
Age: 4-7 years old
Recommendation: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
Age: 8-12 years old
Recommendation: Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
Be sure to always read the manual on how to install the seat correctly. If you’re still unsure seek help at the retailer or approach a local police officer for help on the installation. They know what is necessary in vehicle precautions and child safety.