Do you know what the number 1 killer of children is in the United States?
That is why it is so important to make sure your child is buckled in the proper car seat and that the car seat is installed correctly. It only takes a little of your time to ensure your child is safe.
Choosing the Correct Car Seat
With so many car seats out there, it’s hard to know which one to use for your child. Here are some general guidelines you can follow:
Birth to Age 1 – Children in this age range should be placed in a rear-facing car seat. These include infant carriers and convertibles, whichever your family chooses is right for you. I really, really want one of the new Click Connect 40 car seats for my next baby.
Ages 1 to 3 – Children in this age range should remain rear-facing as long as possible. Once they reach the maximum height allowance for your car seat recommendations, they can be turned forward-facing in a car seat with a harness restraint. However, choosing a convertible car seat would allow them to remain rear-facing for a longer amount of time since the height and weight recommendations are higher. My two year old is using the top rated car seat listed here, but I want to move her up to the same as my five year old is currently using. (see below)
Ages 4 to 7 – The child can remain in a forward facing car seat until they reach the car seats height and weight recommendations. Then they will move on to a booster seat. There are some high back booster seats available on the market which allow the child to remain in them for up to 100 lbs. High back boosters are safer than no back boosters so I recommend using one of these. My five year old is using this high back booster seat and we love it!
Ages 8 to 12 – Once the child can safely fit in the cars regular seat belt, they can move out of their booster. For a proper fit, the lap belt should lie snug across the upper thighs (not the stomach!) and the shoulder portion should fit across the shoulder and chest (not the face or neck).
I will be talking in a future post about how to properly install a car seat and secure your child in it. So many car seats are not used or installed correctly and the resulting consequences can be devastating.