Child Safety Seat Guidelines Keep Kids Safe in the Car
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates car seats based on recommendations for different age groups. There are different recommendations for children’s age groups ranging from birth until 12 years old.
Children should be kept in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible, especially when they are one or younger. Only when they have reached the correct height and weight for a front facing car seat, as stated by the manufacturer, should you transfer them to that type of safety seat.
Once your child outgrows the front facing car seat, usually between the ages of 4 to 7, you should move them to a booster seat in the back seat of your car. They should remain in a booster seat until they can fit in a seat belt properly.
According to the NHTSA for a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face, and your child should ride in the back seat because it’s safer there.
Each state has its own laws regarding which car safety seats you must use. Make sure to know your state’s laws before buckling your child in.