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Choosing Your Childs Car Safety Seat

Each year, hundreds of young children are injured in motor vehicle crashes. Many of these injuries could have been avoided if the child had been restrained in a well-designed and properly functioning child safety seat or booster chair.
With all of the child safety seats currently available in the marketplace, it can be difficult to determine which seat to purchase for your son, daughter, or grandchild. The recent recalls involving defective child safety seats have not helped boost consumer confidence.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Infants younger than age 1 and weighing under 20 lbs should be secured in infant-only child safety seats, and the seat should face the rear of the motor vehicle.
  • While toddlers and preschoolers weighing 20 pounds can ride with their car seats facing the front of the car, it is still recommended that their child safety seats face the back of the vehicle.

Types of forward-facing seats:
Convertible seats – They can convert between forward-facing and rear facing
Forward-facing seats
Forward-facing/Booster seat combinations
Built-in seats – They are pre-installed in certain motor vehicles
Travel vests – For children weighing 20 to 168 pounds. They can be used with a lap seat belt.

  • Children 8 – 12 years of age that are 4’9″ in height or greater and can no longer use a forward-facing seat should use a booster seat, which raises the child’s body so that he or she can properly use a shoulder and lap seat belt.
  • Children that can no longer fit in a booster seat should use a shoulder and lap seat belt and sit in the back until they turn age 13.
    Suggestions for making sure a child safety seat is safe:
    • Use a safety seat that is preferably under five years old.
    • Make sure the car seat has never been involved in an auto crash.
    • Ensure that the seat has all its required parts.
    • Check for possible defects, such as cracks in the plastic, damaged straps, and stiff buckles.
    • Read about the seat brand and model and check for a history of past defects and recalls.

    Our auto products safety law firm is experienced in dealing with injury cases involving defective car seats.
    Car Safety Seats: A Guide for Families 2008, American Academy of Pediatrics
    Safe Ride Helpline for Child Passenger Safety, Carseat.or