Car Seat Safety
Choosing the right car seat and/or booster is essential to your child’s safety. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of child deaths in the United States; hence, the importance of selecting the right car seat is paramount.
There are four types of car seats:
- Rear-facing car seat (infant car seats, convertible seats, and all-in-one seats)
- Forward-facing car seat (convertible seats, all-in-one seats, and combination seats)
- Booster seat (high-back, backless, combination, and all-in-one seats)
- Seat belts
All children should be seated in the back seat at least through the age of twelve.
Not sure about which car seat to purchase? Use the car seat finder tab on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration site. To ensure you are receiving the latest safety updates, you can also register your car seat on the same website:You simply put in the model name and number, the serial number, and your contact information to be notified in the event of a recall.
Car Seats and Booster Seats | NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
Ages 1-3 years: rear-facing seat until the maximum height or weight limit is reached
Ages 4-7 years: forward-facing seat with a harness and tether until the maximum height or weight limit is reached. Then, onto the booster seat.
Ages 8-12 years: booster seat until the child is big enough to fit a seat belt properly with the lap belt snuggly across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt snugly across the shoulder and chest.
Securing the car seat properly is key. The seat should be secured tightly to prevent the seat from moving side to side or front to back more than one inch when tightened. For rear-facing seats, be sure to adjust the recline angle properly. For forward facing seats, connect the tether anchor and tighten.
All harness straps should be flat and placed through the slot at either shoulder level or below for rear-facing seats or at or above shoulder level for forward facing seats. Harnesses and buckles should be clipped (at armpit level) and snug to prevent extra material from pinching at the shoulder.
You can check for proper installation of all car seats locally by visiting St. Mary Medical Center-Parenting Center (online registration) or PA State Police in Bensalem by appointment.via phone.
Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top 10 states for fatal car accidents. Take a moment to check your car seats. In the words of Ben Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”