Have you read up on car seat rules before? If not, you may be surprised to learn that there are a number of important points that you need to know. Many of the regulations vary depending on how old, how heavy and how tall your child is.
Children are very vulnerable when they are in a car. If the vehicle were to get in an accident, the risk of injury is quite high.
This risk only grows as the child gets older.
Most parents are aware of how important it is for their infant or toddler to be strapped into a car seat. However, as their child gets bigger and stronger, they often neglect to follow proper procedures.
As a result, many children are hurt or killed in car accidents.
Taking that information into consideration, let’s now turn to the American Academy of Pediatrics to see what they have to say about car seats.
Babies and Toddlers up to 2
Most parents are hyper vigilant when it comes to car seat safety for babies and toddlers. This age group needs to be in a REAR facing car seat.
The only time this rule does not apply is if the child is taller or heavier than the manufacturer’s specifications for the seat.
It is important to make sure the child’s straps are fasted and that the belt is snug.
In addition, do not put your child in a winter coat and then strap them into the car seat. The restraints will not be secure.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
When a child is finished with the rear facing car seat, they will then transition to a car seat that faces forward.
Again, it is important to pay attention to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Much like with younger children, it is crucial to make sure the seat is secure and the child is restrained according to the manual.
Children of many different ages fit into this group, which is why it is important to operate based on your child’s height and weight. When it is time to move on from the forward-facing seat, the next step is a booster car seat.
The booster seat is used for several years, until a child is big enough to simply wear a seat belt.
Pay attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines so you know what is appropriate.
However, a good rule of thumb is to keep a child in a booster until they are about 4 foot 9 and are 8-12 years of age.
Most children are big enough to move on from the booster seat between the ages of eight and twelve. At that point, they only need to use the seat belt in the car.
However, do not rush this step. For their safety, your children should only stop using the booster when they are big enough.
In addition, the child needs to understand that they must wear their seat belt as is; for instance, they cannot put the strap behind their shoulder. If they do so, they risk being injured.