Keeping their children safe is paramount for parents. When it comes to riding in automobiles, children must be seated in the proper safety seat correctly. Make sure you know what safety seats to use for each of your children.
The type of car seat your child needs depends on his or her size, weight and age. Always read the instruction manual thoroughly. Each manufacturer provides specific instructions regarding proper use and installation of its child safety seats.
Child Safety Seats
Rear-facing seat: Infants (birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds)
For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat in a rear-facing child safety seat as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat.
Forward- facing seat: Toddlers/preschoolers (1 to about 4 years old, 20 to 40 pounds)
When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should ride in the back seat in a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
Booster seat: School-aged children (about 4 to 8 years of age)
Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, they should ride in booster seats in the back seat until the vehicle’s seat belts fit properly (usually at age 8 or when the child reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches).
Tweens: Age 8 and older
When children outgrow their booster seats they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly.
Common Sense Precaution
Never leave a child alone in or around cars; any of the following can happen:
- Death due to heat stroke; temperatures can reach deadly levels in minutes.
- Strangulation by power windows, retracting seat belts, sunroofs or accessories.
- The child could knock the vehicle into gear, setting it in motion.
- A vehicle could back up on or run over a child.
- The child could become trapped in the trunk.