Car Seat Safety

We all know that driving can be very dangerous and while seatbelts can reduce injury, they are made for adults. This means that an adult seatbelt placed on a child that is not the correct size or weight will not only be ineffective at restraining a child in the case of an accident, but possibly harm the child. To insure that your children, whether a few days old or up to 12 years of age are always protected when they drive in your vehicle, car seat safety is necessary. Here are some basic tips regarding car seat safety.

It should be noted that some states and definitely countries other than the US have different laws and restrictions on car seat safety. Before buying a car seat for your child make sure you are well aware of the laws and restrictions in your area.

Three Main Types of Car Seats

There are three main types of car seats, they include: infant car seats, convertible car seats and booster car seats. The differences between them are usually the size of the child that they can carry safely.

Infant Car Seat Safety

An infant car seat is for infants up to 22-30 pounds. Check the specific seat to make sure of the exact weight. These car seats usually have a handle that makes it easy for the parent to transport the infant to and from the vehicle. The infant car seat is meant to face to the rear. It should also be noted that many infant car seats also have a permanent base that the infant car seat can click in and click out of. This way you do not need to install the seat every time you travel with your infant.

Convertible Car Seat Safety

A convertible car seat is made for children over 20 pounds. This car seat is usually good for babies from one year to preschool age. Convertible car seats receive their name because they can either face front or rear. It is always safer when a car seat faces to the rear, however, once your child is larger, a front facing seat will be necessary. Unlike infant car seats, these seats stay in place. Practically all include 5 point harness belts, a head shield and a T shield.

Booster Car Seat Safety

A booster car seat should be used for children who have outgrown their convertible car seat. These seats are also usually permanently installed in a vehicle and make it possible for the adult seatbelts in a vehicle to fit properly. Your child no longer needs a booster seat once he or she can correctly fit into the vehicles seat and use the seatbelts comfortably and safely.

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  1. Sally says:

    Informative post. I would add that as you go up in car seat, you go down in safety. Because of this, it’s a good idea to purchase seats at the higher end of the weight limits for each stage so baby can stay in the safer seat longer. For the forward-facing seat, choose the seat with the highest harness weight limit (some go up to 80 lbs). A 5-point harness is the safest place for your child to be since it spreads the force of impact more evenly across their body. Know that state car seat laws stick to the bare minimum – it’s best to follow the guides set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which sets much stricter standards.

    Finally, have your car seat installation inspected at a car seat fitting station. Most car seats are installed incorrectly, and having a certified child passenger safety inspect your work ensurse optimum safety.

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