Car Seat Safety and When to Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat
Car Seat Safety Guidelines
Rear-Facing Car Seats
Infant seats, or bucket seats, are what most parents start their little one out in. While different brands have different upper and lower weight limits, most seats begin around five pounds and go up to around thirty pounds. Check your car seat’s instruction manual to make sure you are meeting the weight requirements! Bucket seats can be detached from their base, which stays installed in your vehicle, allowing you the freedom to take baby anywhere if they happen to fall asleep during a car ride! Bucket seats are rear-facing and ensure that your child is in the safest position in your vehicle. You can also keep your new bundle of joy safe in a rear-facing convertible car seat.
It is recommended to keep your child rear-facing until at least age 2, or once your child reaches the height and/or weight limit for that seat.
Convertible car seats are named so for their ability to protect your child from infancy to toddlerhood. These seats have the same starting weight as infant bucket seats (around five pounds) and can be used as a rear-facing seat up to forty pounds. Once your child hits twenty pounds and is at least 1 year old, the seat can be used as a forward-facing seat up to sixty-five pounds! While it is completely safe to use a convertible seat from the very beginning, you lose the convenience of being able to take the seat itself out of the car and carry your child in it, as these seats stay securely installed in your vehicle. Convertible seats can be used by children from birth up to at least age 5, based on height and weight.
Five Point Booster
Time and time again, it has been proven that a five-point harness is most effective in keeping a child safe in the event of a crash. Five-point harness booster seats provide your child with the safety as well as the growing room they need. Again, while weight limits vary by brand, most five point boosters will begin around thirty pounds and can go up to one hundred twenty pounds. Once your child hits around forty pounds, the harness can be taken out and a seat belt can be used, as long as the shoulder belt sits across your little one’s shoulder and does not cut into their neck or face at all! It is highly recommended that a five-point harness continue to be used until the child outgrows it completely. Five point boosters are often the last seat you will ever need for your child and are geared towards kids aged 4 and up until 10 years old.
Lap Belt Booster
You can begin using a belt positioning booster seat around forty pounds and thirty-eight inches. Often times, the backs of these seats can be taken off so that your child can continue to use the booster portion to help the lap belt sit correctly across their chest if they are not quite tall enough. Remember: you should always buckle the seat in even when your child is not in the vehicle, as it could become a projectile object in the event of a crash. Some lap positioning boosters, such as the Britax Parkway SGL, have the LATCH system, allowing your seat to remain in place even if you forget to buckle it in! Lap belt boosters are typically used for children aged 6 and up.
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- Curious the difference between Infant, Convertable, and Booster Car Seats? Find out HERE!
- Read about the BIGGEST Car Seat Mistakes and how to avoid them HERE!
- If you want to try and convince your kids that Car Seats are COOL, Click HERE!