We all know kids must ride in the back seat of the vehicle so the issue now is how to seat them safely and properly. There are four basic types of children’s car safety seats: infant car seats, toddler car seats, convertible car seats, and booster car safety seats. Each has its own unique functions and uses. For infants, from birth to at least 1 year old and at least 20 pounds, you should use a Rear Facing Car Seat. For Toddlers, 1 to 4 years old and 40 pounds, you should use a Forward Facing Car Seat.
Beginning at around age 4, many children are too large for toddler seats but too small for adult safety belts. A booster car safety seat raises your child up so that the safety belt fits properly and can protect your child. The shoulder belt should cross the child’s chest and rest snugly on the shoulder, and the lap belt should rest low across the pelvis or hip area – never across the stomach area. Your child will be using this booster safety seat until he/she is old enough to use a seat belt.
The best car safety seat is the one that fits your child’s size, is correctly installed, and is used properly every time you drive. Toddlers weighing between 20 and 40 pounds should be placed in a forward-facing toddler booster seat. It is important to pay attention to what your child weighs— car seats are only rated for a particular number of pounds, and if your child is over weight for that car seat, it cannot protect her as it should. If your child is tall for her age, you will also want to make sure that the car seat provides protection at the top of the head. Make certain that your child’s head is cushioned by the car seat with enough space so that hitting a pothole in the road won’t cause the child’s head to bump on the seat.
For children who are growing, a booster safety seat is a must. A child under the age of 8, who weighs between 40 and 80 pounds and who is under 4 feet 9 inches tall must have a booster seat when riding in any vehicle. Once the child reaches 8 years of age, weighs more than 80 pounds, or stands more than 4 foot 9 inches tall, a regular seatbelt can be used.