Get Peace of Mind by Buckling Up the Correct Car Seat
Whether you have a newborn infant or a healthy 12 year old, there’s no age limit to ensuring that a child is as safe as possible when traveling in a car, and the key to this is what kind of car seat they’re riding in. Even if you’re taking a quick trip to the grocery store, distance should never be a determining factor on practicing car seat safety for a child. It is crucial that is done correctly each and every time a child is in a vehicle.
When using a car seat for a child, it’s important to know the safest practices based on age. There are several car seat options currently on the market, and it may be difficult to figure out just what you need for different ages. For starters, be sure to choose a car seat based on the child’s age and size. Also, be sure you find the right size that will fit your vehicle.
Take a look at our tips for Car Seat Safety at every age through 12 years old.
Rear-Facing Car Seat
Children from birth until 12 months old should use a rear-facing car seat. If you purchase an “infant-only” seat, you will only be able to use it in a rear-facing way. For children between 1 – 3 years old, it’s safest to keep them in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the height and/or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Until the child grows too big for this car seat, it’s time to progress onto a forward-facing car seat.
Forward-Facing Car Seat
For children that are 1 – 7 years old, the forward-facing car seat can be used as a long as possible. Make sure he or she is secured into the forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether. As soon as the child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it’s time to move on to a booster seat in the backseat of the vehicle.
A booster seat can be used anytime between 8 – 12 years old depending on the child and when they outgrow the previous car seat. A booster seat can be used up until the child grows big enough to wear a regular seat belt. To determine if a seatbelt will fit properly, be sure the lap belt lies secured across the child’s upper thighs, not their stomach. Up until at least the age of 12, your child should remain riding in the back seat for safety purposes.
You can find car seat ratings as well as instructions of how to properly install a car seat in addition to lots of other information at SafeCar.gov. Do you have a car seat safety tip? Feel free to tell us in the comments!
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