Child Car Seats - Topic Overview
child car seats save lives. By law, children must be buckled up in a car seat that is made for their weight, height, and age. Check your state's laws at www.iihs.org/laws/default.aspx.
child who is not in a car seat can be seriously injured or killed during a
crash or an abrupt stop, even at low speeds. A parent's arms are not strong
enough to hold and protect a baby during a car accident. Many unrestrained
children die because they are torn from an adult's arms during a crash.
Set a good example for your children by always wearing
your own seat belt, and always insist that they buckle up.
Requirements for car seats
Buy a car seat
appropriate for your child's current age, weight, and height. For safety, it is very important to have a car seat that fits your child and faces the right direction. Be sure to follow the car
seat maker's recommendations. They should
include weight and height guidelines. They
should also tell you how to install the seat
and how to secure your child in it.
The following guidelines come from
the National Highway Traffic Safety
Ages 0 to 12 months
Your child younger than age 1 should always ride
in a car seat that faces the back of the car
(called rear-facing). There are different types
of rear-facing car seats. Infant-only seats
can only be used rear-facing. Convertible
and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher
height and weight limits for the rear-facing
position, allowing you to keep your child
rear-facing for a longer period of time.
Ages 1 to 3 years
Keep your child rear-facing in a convertible
or 3-in-1 car seat as long as possible.
It's the best way to keep him or her
safe. Your child should remain rear-facing
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 rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to
travel in a car seat that faces the front (called
forward-facing) and that has a harness.