Child Car Seats - Topic Overview
Requirements for car seats continued...
Ages 4 to 7 years
Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat
with a harness until he or she reaches the
top height or weight limit allowed by your
car seat's maker. As soon as your child outgrows
the forward-facing car seat with a harness,
your child can travel in a booster seat but
still in the back seat.
Ages 8 to 12 years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or
she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.
For a seat belt to fit properly, the lap belt
must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not
the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie
snug across the shoulder and chest and not
cross the neck or face. Remember: Your child
should still ride in the back seat because it's
Don't buy a used car seat. If a car seat has been
recalled or has been in an accident or misused, it may not fully protect your
The safest position for your
baby or child is in the back, middle seat of the car.
- Do not place your
child's car seat in the front seat of any vehicle with a passenger side air bag
that cannot be turned off.
- Do not allow
a child younger than age 13 to sit in the front seat of any vehicle.
- Make sure your infant's car seat is at an angle where his or her head does not flop
extra care if you have a
premature infant. Slouching may affect his or her
breathing and oxygen supply.
For maximum safety, follow the manufacturer's
recommendations for car seat use. Cars
manufactured since September 2002 are equipped with a standardized car safety
seat attachment system. This feature allows parents to secure the car seat on
a permanently installed hook.
Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians can help you install your car seat and
position your child safely. To find help in your area, go to
www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm or www.seatcheck.org. You can also
call the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at
Do not let your child get out of his or her seat
while the car is moving. If your child needs attention, stop the car, take the
child out of the seat, take care of his or her needs, and put him or her back
into the seat before the car starts moving again. If your child is fussy again
soon after, stop and check your child again.