Child seat safety regulations are constantly changing, which means it can be hard to stay on top of the latest information. As more tests are completed and more data is sorted through, researcher’s recommendations are amended to reflect the most recent breakthroughs. For parents, this means that what was acceptable or expected with one child may no longer be the norm with a younger child. Here’s the latest on the right kind of child safety seats for your child.
Not All Child Safety Seats are the Same
As your child grows, his or her needs will change. To ensure that they are safe at these different stages, you will need to have the right car seat for their age and size.
Rear-Facing Car Seat
Rear-facing car seats are best for newborns and infants. They have a five-point harness restraint that keeps a small child stabilized in their seat. The seat is situated so that the infant faces backward. It is recommended that children use rear-facing car seats as long as possible. Once a child is no longer comfortably able to sit rear-facing, they should be turned around.
When purchasing a rear-facing car seat, parents have many options. Some rear-facing car seats function as part of a stroller/carrier system with a car seat base that allows parents to easily unclip the carrier and move it from one place to another.
Convertible seats, which can be both rear and front-facing, allow children to stay in the rear-facing position longer before transitioning into front-facing. All-in-one seats are popular because they adapt as a child grows. They can be used as rear-facing, front-facing, and as a booster seat for an older child.
Forward-Facing Car Seat
A front-facing car seat features a five-point harness that safely stabilizes your child. As mentioned above, convertible and all-in-one seats both function as forward-facing car seats, as do combination seats which transform from front-facing into a booster. A child should sit in a front-facing seat until they are no longer able to comfortably sit in it.
A booster seat can have a back or be backless. Its goal is to position your child so that they are able to safely wear the seatbelt across their chest. Whether a high back or backless booster is right for you and your child depends on your vehicle. Consider how the booster will fit and where your child’s head will be. If your vehicle does not have headrests or a high seat, a back can help to better stabilize your child.
A child should sit in a booster seat until they are big enough to properly sit in a car seat with the seat belt comfortably lying across their chest and upper thighs. If the seat belt is pressing into their neck or face, they should still be sitting in a booster seat, regardless of age. This ensures that the seat belt is able to do its job and protect your child in case of an accident.
If you’d like assistance determining which child seat your child should be in, click here. You’ll want to consider your vehicle and the size and age of your child.
Installing a Child Safety Seat
Installing a child safety seat shouldn’t feel like rocket science, however, some can be downright difficult to properly situate. If you’ve read the manual for your particular seat and are still have difficulty, you can go to your local FHP station for assistance. Safercar.gov also offers tips on child safety seat installation.
Child Safety Seat Recalls
Child safety seats aim to protect little ones as they sit in the car. They reduce the damage that the impact of an accident can have by adding more restraints and limiting range of motion of the child. When used properly, a child safety seat can save a life. Unfortunately, child safety seats are subject to defects and are recalled from time to time. To find out whether your car seat has been recalled, check safercar.gov. Safercar.gov allows you to register your car seat so you can receive a notification if it’s ever recalled.
If your child has been injured because of a defective child safety seat, consider speaking with a Tampa personal injury lawyer. When we entrust our children’s safety to a company and they fail to deliver on their promises, they should be held responsible. Don’t delay, contact a Tampa personal injury attorney today.
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