Car Seat Safety Tips
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), injuries resulting from transportation accidents are the leading cause of death for children aged 0-19 in the United States. With such a shocking reality, it is essential to do all you can to ensure your child's safety when riding in a vehicle and in traffic.
Finding the Right Seat
When it comes to getting the right car seat for your child, it is important to consider the child’s age, height and weight to determine the best fit.
Rear-Facing Car Seats
A rear-facing car seat will be your child’s first car seat, which is suitable for infants and small toddlers. Typically, a child will outgrow this seat by his or her first birthday as these seats usually have a weight limit of about 40 pounds. If your child doesn’t reach the weight limit by his or her first birthday, he or she should move up to the next seat by aged two.
Forward-Facing Car Seats
After outgrowing or aging out of the rear-facing car seat, your child will graduate to a forward-facing car seat with a harness. These seats typically have a weight limit of up to 65 pounds.
Booster seats are usually an appropriate option for children aged eight to 12 who have most likely exceeded the height and weight limits for forward-facing car seats. Booster seats are secured with your vehicle’s seat belt and should always be installed in the back seat.
Children who have outgrown the booster seat can use your vehicle's safety belt alone. Always be sure that your child is wearing the seat belt properly, sitting across the lap and across the chest to ensure the best protection in the event of an accident.
Properly Securing Your Little One
Although each brand of car seat is different, there are some overarching rules to keep in mind when it comes to securing your child in his or her seat.
- Rear-facing seats and front-facing seats: five-point harnesses should be used with all latches properly fastened.
- Booster seats: Your vehicle's cross-body safety belt should be used to secure the seat according to your seat’s manual.
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