If you have children, you know that car seats are a crucial part of your life. They keep your little ones safe in an accident, and they can make a huge difference in their overall development and well-being. But if you’re unsure which car seats are best for your child, don’t worry.
Rear-facing Car Seats
A rear-facing car seat is designed to protect your baby’s head, neck, spine and body. It keeps the baby’s body supported by the seat and harness system. A rear-facing car seat design also prevents injury to your child’s hips by keeping them from slipping too far down in the seat or bending forward into a dangerous position during a crash.
At some point during your child’s first year, they will outgrow their infant car seats—usually around 12 months old depending on how big they are when born.
Forward-Facing Seats with Harness
Once your child can sit up independently; it’s time to switch from the rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends keeping your child in a forward-facing car seat until they are at least two years old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
The harness should be snug and positioned at armpit level, with both straps going over each shoulder. Never place the harness behind your child’s back.
Booster seats are the most common type of car seat you’ll find in the United States, and they can be used with a harness or a vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder belt. Children typically use them over four years old who have outgrown their convertible car seat (and usually their forward-facing harnessed car seat).
Booster seats are not made for infants, so if you’re buying one as a first car seat for your little one, don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s safe for use before then. Studies show that an infant in a rear-facing car seat is much safer than riding in front of an adult passenger.
Seat Belts Alone
If you only use seat belts, your child will be safer. It would be best if you used a car seat until you were one year old and at least 40 pounds.
Child safety seats aren’t just for driving around town or on vacation—they can also help keep your little one safe at home when it’s time to clean up after dinner or take out the trash! As long as you find the right spot (and remember to lock the straps), there’s no reason why you can’t strap down your child in other places besides the car seat.
When to Change Your Child’s Car Seat?
It’s time to change your child’s car seat when they outgrow their current seat.
- When your child outgrows their current car seat, you’ll have to consider buying another one that fits them better or switching to a different car seat altogether.
- The most common reason for needing to replace a car seat is that your child has reached the top height or weight range in their current model.
Keep your children in the safest car seat possible
As a parent; you are responsible for ensuring that your child is in the safest car seat possible. Many factors are involved in providing that children are safe while riding in a vehicle. All car seats have expiration dates, but not all children outgrow their infant car seats before the expiration date.
Remember that all car seats are not one size fits all, and there is no such thing as an “upgrade” when upgrading from a convertible to a booster seat. The only way to ensure your child is safe from injury or death during accidents or other circumstances caused by driving is by using an appropriate-sized infant carrier with proper installation techniques for maximum support and protection from potential harm.
Car seat safety is a serious matter, and the more you know, the better off your child will be. Not only that, but knowing what is safe for your child can help ease worries about how to keep them safe in the car.