Be a good role model for your children. Wear your own seat belt EVERY time you get in the car. Reinforce this rule with everyone you travel with — consistency will lead to the development of lifelong habits.
Child Car Seats
All children from birth to 8-12 years old should be in some type of car seat or booster seat.
Infants have two choices: either a rear-facing-only infant seat or a convertible car seat. The rear-facing-only seats typically support a maximum of 40 lbs. (One advantage to the rear-facing-only seats is that they will come with a stationary base that remains in the car and the seat simply snaps into place each time you travel.)
For older children, there are a multitude of car seats and car safety options available in every price range. It is always important to remember to consult the packaging instructions that come with the seat(s) you have. AND, it is equally important to read your car manual about how to properly install any child car seats in your vehicle.
We like to see 5-point restraints used in ALL car seats, because this provides the greatest protection to the child.
After the convertible seat, you will now have to consider either a combination seat, which can be used as a 5-point harness toddler seat or a booster seat with lap/shoulder belt positioner, or a toddler seat alone and then a booster seat when the child is ready.
As mentioned above, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s weight and/or height guidelines when making a car seat safety check.
Car Seat Rules
Remember, the rules have changed now and ALL children must be 4’9” tall and 8 to 12-years-old before they can ride without any booster seat.
Is your child under 13 years of age? They must ride in the backseat.
No rear-facing car seats should be placed in seats with functional airbags.
AAP recommended: Rear-facing infants must reach 20 lbs AND 2 years of age in order to turn front facing.
Proper-fitting seat belts sit low on a child’s lap (across the thighs), with the shoulder belt across their chest (not their face or their neck) and their back should touch the seat with their knees bent and legs able to hang down.
You can locate car seat safety check stations by going to http://www.seatcheck.org.
Check nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm for locations offering car seat inspections and assistance.
Of course, we are also always available by phone to help you with any car seat information.