Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Car Seat Safety Guide from CSNbaby!

Car Seat Safety Guide

The only time you ever see anything in the news about car seat safety is when a celebrity (AHEM...Britney Spears!) messes up and has her child sitting in her lap. Just like crib safety, car seat safety is a very important issue for parents and caregivers alike! Whether you are purchasing your very first car seat, or if you're replacing one that's been outgrown, there are some important things you need to consider.

What Are The Different Types of Car Seats?

There are different types of car seats to consider. Here are the main types on the market today.

  • Infant-Only Car Seats: These are small and portable. They come with a base that is secured in the car. The seat itself is removable and has handles for easy carrying.

  • Convertible Car Seats: Convertible car seats give you more bang for your buck, much like convertible cribs. Convertible car seats can be used as rear-facing until the child gets older and is able to sit forward-facing. Bulkier than infant seats and less easy to carry, they are becoming more and more streamlined as technologies continue to advance. Convertible car seats also come with some sort of a harness designed to keep your child secure in his seat.

  • Forward-Facing Toddler Seats: These are designed to be used strictly as forward-sitting car seats for children who weigh anywhere from 40 to 80 lbs. They also come with a harness.

  • Combination Forward-Facing/Booster Seats: With the harness, these car seats provide the same benefits as a forward-facing toddler seat. Without the harness they act as a booster seat.

  • Built-In Seats: Certain types of cars come with a built in forward-facing seat. Consult your car's manual to see if your child would benefit from this seat. Weight restrictions do vary.

  • Booster Seats: Booster seats raise up your child so that he or she is level with the car's safety belt. There are high-back or backless models available. Since they are designed to be used with the car's safety belt, there is no harness included.

How Old Is Your Child?

The age of your child very much matters when car seat shopping. Here's a friendly little guide to help you determine what type of car seat is appropriate for your children at different ages.

    Infants (1 year & Younger)

: Purchase an infant seat or a rear-facing convertible seat. Infants should always ride rear-facing. From the moment an infant leaves the hospital, right up until they reach the heaviest weight and tallest height allowed by the specific car seat purchased. Make sure and consult your manual before putting the product to use.

  • Toddlers & Preschoolers: Forward-facing toddler seats, combination forward-facing/booster seats or convertible seats are recommended for slightly older children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be riding rear-facing for as long as possible but as long as the child is at least 1 year and at least 20 lbs., he or she can ride forward-facing in a convertible seat. It's important that you keep your child in the harness until it's outgrown at around 4 years of age (40 - 65 lbs).

  • School Aged: Booster seats are recommended for the kids, once they have outgrown their forward-facing car seats. It's advised that young children remain in booster seats until an adult seat belt fits correctly. This is typically between the ages of 8 and 12, or when the child reaches just under 5 feet tall. Booster seats are specifically designed to raise the child up high enough to use a traditional safety belt.

  • Just to reiterate, make sure that you carefully read the manual of the car seat you ultimately decide on. Also, since car seat laws vary state by state, make sure that you do your due diligence and check out a site like to see what the laws are in your state. Also be on the lookout for any product recalls. It doesn't hurt to be extra careful, especially when it comes to your child's safety.
    If you have a car purchased after 2000, then it should come equipped with tether anchors which help you secure the car seat into the backseat of your vehicle. All cars built in the U.S. after 2003 should have LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) which secures the car seat at both the base and the top for extra security. If you go into this process as an educated consumer, you'll come out a winner!


    1. you've won a award here

    2. Thanks for providing information about car seats!! Its very interesting.