How to Keep Your Child Safe in Your Car: A Guide to Car Seats

Sadly, car crashes are the leading cause of death for children. In these crashes, 33% were not buckled up. This goes to show the importance of always securing your kids when in a moving vehicle.

But what if your little ones aren’t big enough to wear seatbelts on their own? Then you need to make sure you get good car seats they can sit in.

If you want to learn more about keeping your child safe in the car, then keep reading. Here’s a short guide to children’s car seats.

How Old Do Your Kids Need to Be for Car Seats?

First of all, let’s discuss how old your children need to be for car seats.

Car seat laws will differ by state. In general, most states require that children under 1 to 2 years olds (or under 20 pounds) ride in a rear-facing car seat. These can be convertible seats.

For children up to 4 years old (or under 65 pounds), they should ride in a forward-facing car seat that has a harness. You should use this car seat for as long as possible (up to the maximum height and/or weight).

After this point, between approximately 4 to 8 years old, your child may need a booster. This is a belt-positioning car seat that keeps your children secure.

When your kids have outgrown the booster seat, they should still sit in the back seats up until the age of 13. You should teach them how to properly buckle up; both the lap and shoulder belts should go across their bodies.

Make sure you look up your state laws and study them carefully to avoid being penalized.

Other Things You Should Know About Car Seats

You might think it’s a good idea to use a hand-me-down car seat, but always check the label. Technology’s always advancing, so an older car set may not be the safest one around. The manufacturer label will say when the car seat was made and how long they recommend using it for.

Never use a car seat that doesn’t have instructions or has missing parts. You need to contact the manufacturer ASAP if either is the case for your product.

You should also check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) website to make sure your particular car seat wasn’t recalled at any point.

And last, but certainly not least, never reuse car seats that have been in crashes. These accidents may have caused damage to the car seat, which may render it not as effective or even ineffective in protecting your children from future crashes.

Practice Good Child Car Safety

Now you have a short guide to car seats. Make sure your little ones always sit in them when traveling, especially if they’re under 8 years old. And also read up on both state and federal laws, as you don’t want to get into legal trouble either.

With our article, you should now hopefully have a better idea of what you need to do to practice good car safety when on the road with your family.

If you found this article on child car seats helpful, then make sure you check out our other posts for more legal tips.

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