A few important reminders (and updates!) for parents, grandparents, and caregivers.
Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury for children. Using a car seat is the best way to protect children when they're in a car.
While all 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws governing the use of child safety seats, most laws don’t specify which type of car seat should be used at any particular age or weight.
In fact, what’s allowed under most state laws should be considered “minimum standards” and is not necessarily what’s recommended to provide the best protection.
The chart below more accurately depicts child seat recommendations based on age and weight.
Here are a few other important reminders for parents, grandparents, and caretakers:
- Avoid secondhand car seats (unless you can get one from someone you know and trust). You usually can't be 100 percent sure of a secondhand car seat's history, including whether it’s been involved in a crash, its expiration date (set by the manufacturer), and its recall status. Unless you’re able to answer these questions, it’s usually best to buy new. Fortunately, the right car seat for your child isn’t necessarily the more expensive one. Despite wild differences in cost, all car seats sold in the U.S. must meet the same federal safety and crash performance standards.
- Make sure the seat is installed correctly. Whether you’ve just installed a car seat or need help installing or using one, CLICK HERE get help at a car seat inspection station near you.
- Pay attention to height requirements. Many caretakers know the weight limit for their child seat. But a child is more likely to outgrow their seat in height before they reach the maximum weight limit of the seat.
- Make sure the harness straps are at the right height. Harness straps should be positioned at or below the shoulders for rear-facing seats and at or above the shoulders for forward-facing seats.
- Make sure the harness straps are tight. You should not be able to pinch any webbing between your thumb and forefinger.
- Adjust the chest clip. Chest clips should be positioned at the armpit.
Of all the things you’ll buy for a child, a good car seat is one of the most important. Please share this with friends and family to help keep children in our community safe.