Keeping children safe when they are in motor vehicles is of paramount concern to parents. When transporting younger children typically car seats and booster seats are needed. Here are some tips for safely using car seats for children.
The following guidelines for seats and positioning for children are recommended by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- All infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Seat until they are at least 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
- Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for his convertible car seat should use a Forward-Facing Car Seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
- All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car seat should use a Belt-Positioning Booster Seatuntil the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
- Use a high back model if your vehicle has low seats and no headrests. You can use a backless model if your vehicle has a headrest.
- Use the booster seat until your child meets manufacturer weight limits or fits into a seatbelt properly.
- Children under the age of 13 should ride in the backseat of the vehicle.
- Adults should never hold a child in their lap or place a car seat in the front seat instead of the back seat.
- A well-used car seat or damaged car seat that has been in an accident should be discarded.
- Seat belts should always be used, even for the shortest trips, as most car accidents occur within a five-mile radius of the victim’s home.
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