It you love it, click it! September 23rd through September 29th kicks off Child Passenger Safety Week. Knowing which car or booster seat is the best choice for your child will help safeguard your child in the vehicle. Properly securing children in safety seats goes a long way in keeping them safer and we want to pass along a few tips on child passenger safety.
With so many car and booster seats in the market, it might be difficult finding the right car or booster seat for your child. Here are some tips on how to choose.
- Weight and Size Considerations-Choose a car seat based on your child’s age, weight and size. Try it out in the store before you take it home. Place your child in the seat and adjust the straps and buckles to make sure it works for your child. Fit it properly and securely in your car. Ensure the seat is buckled tightly into your vehicle and your child is buckled snugly into the seat. For the best protection for your child, keep him in the seat until he has reached the manufacturer’s height or weight limit.
- Rear-Facing Seats-All infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their car safety seat. If your baby reaches the height and weight limit for his infant-only seat, he should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible car seat for as long as possible. Check your car safety seat instructions to find the weight and height limits for rear-facing seats. Some types allow up to the weight of at least 35 pounds.
- Forward-Facing Seats – Children who are 2 years or older, or who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car safety seat should ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of their seat. Check your car safety seat instructions to find the weight and height limits for forward-facing seats. Some types allow up to a weight of 65-80 pounds.
- Booster Seats – Children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt positioning booster seat until he is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. Booster seats are designed to raise your child so that the lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly. The lap belt should lie low across a child’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt should cross the middle of a child’s chest and shoulder.
- Seat Belts Usually between ages 8 and 12, or when they are 4’9” tall, children should use a seat belt in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection. The seat belt should fit properly with the lap belt lying across the child’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the chest. Seat belts are designed for adults. If it does not fit your child correctly, she should stay in a booster seat until the seat belt fits her properly. Also, be sure your child does not tuck the shoulder belt behind her back or under her arm.
Do your research! Manufacturers for the past ten years can be found here by clicking the here.
Still have questions about car seats and/or proper car seat installation, you can reach out to TxDOT and schedule an appointment at (512) 832-7035.