Child Car Seat Safety System
Your child’s safety could be in jeopardy if your car seat is not installed correctly. Before you install your car seat, make sure you’re familiar with vehicle and car seat parts used in the installation process and these important installation safety tips.
Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness and tether.
The purchase of a used seat is not recommended. Due to the aforementioned concerns regarding expiry dates, crash testing, and recalls, it is often impossible to determine the history of the child restraint when it is purchased second-hand.
Booster seat: After outgrowing forward-facing seat and until seat belts fit properly. Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a belt positioning booster seat until seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Proper seat belt fit usually occurs when children are about 4 feet 9 inches tall and age 9-12 years.
Parents and/or caretakers can call their local district police station or call “311” to locate their neighborhood Police District CAPS office and schedule an appointment to have their child safety seat inspected.
In addition to registering your car seat to receive recalls and safety notices from your car seat manufacturer, you can sign up to receive e-mail alerts from NHTSA about car seat and booster seat recalls to make sure your child remains safe.
Ages 4-8 Children should be secured in a forward-facing safety seat with an internal harness system until they reach the upper height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. When a child outgrows the forward-facing seat, he or she may transition to a belt-positioning booster seat.
The number after 'E' in the ECE 44 standard indicates as to which country certifies the child restraint. Hence the number differs between countries. The EU (European Union) also has similar symbols to indicate safety standards for children travelling in a vehicle.
Children over one year of age and at least 20 pounds, may ride in a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat. Children should ride in a safety seat with full harness until they weigh about 40 pounds or the maximum weight limit for the harness. The weight limits for the harness use is printed on the label located on that particular seat.
Since the first car was manufactured and put on the market in the early 1900s, many modifications and adjustments have been implemented to protect those that drive and ride in motorized vehicles. Most restraints were put into place to protect adults without regard for young children. Though child seats were beginning to be manufactured in the early 1930s, their purpose was not the safety of children. The purpose was to act as booster seats to bring the child to a height easier for the driving parent to see them. It was not until 1962 that two designs with the purpose of protecting a child were developed independently. British inventor Jean Ames created a rear-facing child seat with a Y-shaped strap similar to today's models. American Leonard Rivkin, of Denver Colorado, designed a forward-facing seat with a metal frame to protect the child. It is noted that seat belts for adults were not standard equipment in automobiles until the 1960s.