Congratulations! You’ve just found out you’re expecting a baby! Whether it’s your first child, or fifth, it is important to choose the correct car seat to ensure the safety of your child.
The leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13 are car accidents. This is the reason it is so very important to choose and use the right car seat for your child. Car seat use reduces the risk for death to infants (aged <1 year) by 71%; and to toddlers (aged 1–4 years) by 54% in vehicles. Booster seat use reduces the risk for serious injury by 45% for children aged 4–8 years when compared with seat belt use alone.
Choosing the safest seat for your child can be overwhelming and confusing. There are some general guidelines to help you understand the best way to keep your child safe considering your child’s age, weight, and height.
The general guidelines for choosing a car seat are as follows:
- Infant rear-facing:
- Children under 1 year old.
- Features a harness strap system and a cradle design to protect a child’s neck and spine in a crash.
- Child rear-facing:
- Children 1 to 3 years old.
- It is recommended to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. Keep the seat in a rear-facing position until child has reached height or weight maximum recommended by seat manufacturer.
- Children 4 to 7 years old, ORchildren under 4 years old who have outgrown their seat’s height and weight maximum.
- Feature a tether strap system that is much safer than a standard seatbelt for young children.
- Booster seat:
- Children 8 to 12 years old, ORchildren under 8 years old who have outgrown their seat’s height and weight maximum.
- Designed to add extra height so the car’s seat belt fits your child properly.
To maximize your child’s safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, so long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements. Always place the car seat in the back seat, NEVER place a car seat in the front portion of the vehicle. It is advised to keep you child in the back seat until they reach the age of 12. Remember, The BACK SEAT is the BEST SEAT for children!
Stay tuned for more car seat safety tips and information.
Attorney Chelsie M. Lamie is a personal injury attorney located in Safety Harbor, Florida. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident or slip and fall accident, please call 727-501-3464 for a free consultation. You can also learn more about Attorney Lamie at www.chelsielamie.com.