Protecting Your Child With The Right Car Seat
Most car seats are used incorrectly and considering children’s car seats; that is a lot of risk people are taking with their children’s life by not purchasing the right car seat. Children’s car seats are classified primarily according to age and then according to size (weight and height). The following is information about the right car seat for your child given their age and size.
Rear Facing Car Seat
The rear facing car seat is for the smallest of toddlers. Babies between birth and one year old should always be in a car seat that is rear-facing. When it comes to their size, any infant weighing in at 20 pounds or lower should also be in a rear-facing car seat. If your child exceeds twenty pounds but is still under one year old, they should still be seated in a car seat that is back-facing until they reach the required age. The seat’s curvature is ideal for cradling your baby while it also contains a full body harness that will ideally secure your child. In the case of emergency braking, the baby will be forced into the heavy padding of the seat instead of forwarding where more damage could potentially happen.
Forward Facing Car Seat
Anywhere between the ages of one and three, your baby is sure to outgrow the rear facing car seat. At this stage, a front-facing car seat with a very secure harness is in order. Ideally, the harness should be a five-point harness. The harness should secure the baby in case of any accident and restrict forward movement as much as possible.
Between the age of four and seven, your child will most likely outgrow his or her forward facing seat. At this point, a booster will be most appropriate. The booster is used by children who are taller than their forward facing car seats and weigh at least 40 pounds. The booster allows your child to get the necessary height for proper placement of the seatbelt. Boosters come in a variety of forms. There is a high back booster which improves your child’s posture by giving them extra back and neck support. There is also a back booster which is also referred to as a backless booster which does not provide the back support that a high back booster provides. However, it does it can be used in vehicles that already have headrests.
When your child is eight years old, it is only a matter of time before they outgrow their booster seat. However, just because you can plainly see that your child is growing does not mean that you should take them off the booster seat. Keep the child in the infant seat until he or she completely outgrows it and can fit well into a seatbelt. You child should be no shorter than 4’9″ at the age between eight and twelve. The belt of the car seat should easily contact her collarbone and her pelvic bone without any assistance. Your child should still ride in the back seat the reason being it is still the safest place in the vehicle.
There are other measures one can take to ensure the safety of their child in a car seat. Reading and appropriately following the manual is an often overlooked step that could save drivers a lot of trouble. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash. If you or someone in your family has been in a car accident give Schenk Podolsky a call to see what all of your options are.