Child Car Seat Safety System
Ages 2-4 Children should remain in a rear-facing safety seat for as long as possible, or until they are at the upper height or weight limit of the seat. When a child out- grows a rear-facing safety seat, he or she may transition to a forward-facing seat with a harness system.
Seat Belt: Once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat. Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them 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. For the best possible protection, keep children properly buckled in the back seat.
Like motorcycle and race car helmets, child restraints are tested for use in just one crash event. This means that if the restraint is compromised in any way (with or without the child in it), owners are strongly suggested to replace it. This is due to the uncertainty with how a compromised child restraint will perform in subsequent crashes.
For the best protection on every ride, use a car seat or booster seat, based on your child’s age, weight and height. In addition, remember to buckle yourself – every time – in every vehicle. Your child will do as you do!
There are several types of car seats, which vary in the position of the child and size of the seat. The United Nations European Regional standard ECE R44/04 categorizes these into 4 groups: 0-3. Many car seats combine the larger groups 1, 2 and 3. Some new car models includes stock restraint seats by default.
Belt positioning boosters should only be used with both the lap and shoulder belt across the child. The shoulder belt should be snug against the child’s chest, resting across the collarbone. The lap belt should lay low across the child’s upper thigh area.
Lower anchors have weight limits set by the vehicle and car seat manufacturers. You can determine the lower anchor weight limit by checking the warning label or installation diagrams located on the side of the car seat. If your car seat does not have a label, you can determine the maximum allowable child weight for lower anchor use by subtracting the weight of the car seat (usually available in the car seat’s instruction manual) from 65 pounds.
Infants, from birth to at least one year of age and that weigh up to 20 pounds, should ride in the back seat of the vehicle in a rear-facing child safety seat. Children less than one year of age and that weigh over 20 pounds, should ride in vehicles in the rear-facing position. Several child safety seats are available that will accommodate children who weigh over 20 pounds in the rear-facing position.
Convertible safety seats can be installed as either rear-facing or forward-facing. There is a large selection available to choose from and weight limits, height limits, and extra features vary from seat to seat and by manufacturer. Seats with a 5-point harness are considered safer than those with an overhead shield