According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car seat safety use reduces the risk for death to infants (under age one) by 72-percent and toddlers (one- to four-years-old) by 54-percent. Unfortunately, car seats are often used incorrectly, as much as 72-percent of the time.
Here are some tips to make sure this isn’t the case in your car!
What Car Seat Do I Choose?
For the utmost safety, your child needs to be in a car seat as long as possible. However, he or she definitely needs to be in the backseat until age 12. There are a number of car seats out there to choose from for your child. So how do you know which one is the perfect car seat? Consider your child’s age and size and refer to the guide at the CDC’s website listed above. Many retail stores such as Babies-R-Us even have display units set up for you to put your child into and see how comfortable the seat is for them before you buy.
Birth to 12 months
If your child is under the age of one, he or she will need to be in a rear-facing car seat. Convertible and all-in-one car seats tend to be the better choice when choosing a rear-facing car seat, since they have higher height and weight limits.
One to Three Years
If your child can still meet the height and weight requirements in a rear-facing car seat at this age, keep them there. Rear-facing car seats are still the best way to go in terms of safety. However, there is a time they need to be forward-facing. When this occurs, choose a forward-facing car seat with a harness or tether.
Four to Seven Years
If your child can still meet the height and weight requirements in a forward-facing car seat with a harness or tether, keep them there. Once again, this is the safest. However, once they reach those requirements, they need to be moved to a booster seat.
Eight to 12 Years
Once your child grows out of the booster seat, it is time for the seat belt. Make sure the lap belt fits properly across the upper thighs and that the shoulder belt is across the shoulder and not the chest. It may not always be the most comfortable, but it’s the safest. Many parents have found guards like these to be helpful and more comfortable for their kids.
We hope this information is helpful and of course advise you to consult the resources from car seat manufacturers for even more information.