Child Passenger Safety: What Car Seat Should You Use?

Child Passenger Safety: What Car Seat Should You Use?

Becoming a parent is an exciting part of many people’s lives. It can also be stressful! Not only are the parents learning how to take care of a new person, but they’re also adjusting their own lives and schedules around that new person. Part of the adjustment is traveling - more importantly, traveling safely!

Selecting a safe and functional car seat for newborns, toddlers, and children is incredibly important for a child’s safety. Not to mention, it’s the law! Parents know that a standard seat belt is not suitable for an infant or toddler. As they grow, how they sit in your car will change. But until they’re ready, they should be in the car seat that’s right for them. But which is the right one? Below are some standard guidelines regarding what kind of seat you should be using for your children, whether they’re a newborn or growing up!

There are four car seat types, and the ages they are often used from depending on the child’s size:

  • The rear-facing car seat (birth to year 3) is the best seat for your young child to use. It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord. There are three types of the rear-facing car seat: an infant car seat (rear-facing only), a convertible seat, and an all-in-one seat. 
  • The forward-facing car seat (year 1 to year 7) has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward movement during a crash. There are three types of the forward-facing car seat: a convertible seat, a combination seat, and an all-in-one seat.
  • The booster seat (year 4 to year 12) positions the seat belt so that it fits properly over the stronger parts of your child’s body. There are four types of booster seats: booster seat with high back, backless booster seat, combination seat, and an all-in-one seat. 
  • The seat belt (year 8 to year 13 and beyond) should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain your child safely in a crash. It should not rest on the stomach area or across the neck or face. 

Every state may has their own guidelines regarding car seat safety. Reach out to your local Law Enforcement to learn yours today!

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