To protect your children while behind the wheel, you need to have a car seat or a booster seat. The most common causes of death for children under the age of 13 are car crashes. Car seats save about 325 children per year.
According to the NHTSA, each age group belongs to a different type of car seat.
Should you have your child in a rear-facing seat?
A rear-facing car seat is best for young children and infants. Rear-facing seats move with the infant to reduce the stress to your child’s neck in an accident. Tiny babies and newborns tend to sit in portable rear-facing seats. Generally, most kids grow out of the rear-facing seat by the age of one.
When should children face forward?
Forward-facing car sears have tethers and harnesses to limit movement in the car. Once your child ages out of the rear-facing seat, he or she can move to the forward-facing seat. Children usually move on to a forward-facing seat between the ages of one and three. If your child does not reach the height or weight limit before the age of seven, he or she should remain in the forward-facing seat.
Should your child graduate to a booster seat?
Most children will graduate to the booster seat between four and seven years old. Wait for your child to outgrow the front-facing car seat before moving him or her to the booster seat. Children should remain in the booster seat until they outgrow it as well. Children between the ages of eight and 12 may need to stay in the booster seat. Ensure the booster seat fits properly fit the lap belt snugly across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt across the shoulder.