One of the most important jobs you have as a parent is keeping your child safe. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car seats on the market, it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming. In honor of Child Passenger Safety Week, here is some general information on different types of car seats.
The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age, size, and the type of vehicle you have. Below is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about choosing the most appropriate car seat for your child.
Age Group – Infants Type of Seat – Rear-facing only seats
General Guidelines – All infants should ride in a rear facing car seat
Age Group – Toddlers Type of Seat – Convertible car seat (can face both rear and forward)
General Guidelines – All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
Age Group – Toddlers/Preschoolers Type of Seat – Convertible car seat and forward-facing only seats with a harness
General Guidelines – Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit of their convertible car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.
Age Group – School-Aged Children Type of Seat – Booster seat
General Guidelines – All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4’9” in height and are between 8-12 years of age
Age Group – Older Children Type of Seat – Seat belt
General Guidelines – When children are old enough and large enough for the vehicle seat belt to fit them correctly, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
*Note: This is a quick guide on where to start your search. It’s important to continue reading more about the features and how to use your car seat.
For more information about child passenger safety, contact Safe Kids Grand Forks at firstname.lastname@example.org. Altru Health System is proud to serve as the lead agency for Safe Kids Grand Forks.