As parents, one of the most important things, when riding in a vehicle, is to keep your child safe. Properly used car safety seats can significantly reduce the chance of children being hurt and/or killed in collisions. It’s not safe to hold a child on your lap. In a car crash, the child could be crushed between your body and part of the car’s interior. Even if you are using a seatbelt, the child would be torn from your arms. Either fasten the seatbelt around yourself and your child or even around two children; it is safer than nothing.
Car safety seats indeed help keep children safe.
With so many different types of car safety seats, which is the right choice for parents?
The suitable seat needed for your child depends on several things including your child’s weight, size and vehicle you have.
Tips for selecting appropriate seat for;
Newborn babies and infants require special protection while in a vehicle. Infants should ride rear-facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer. At a minimum, children should ride rear-facing until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.
When the child outgrows the maximum height and weight of his/her infant seat, you may require a convertible rear-facing seat until your child is ready to be facing forward.
- Birth to 9 kg (20 lb.)
- Rear-facing seat
- Use away from an active airbag
It is best for children to ride rear-facing as long as possible to the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their convertible seat. When they have outgrown the seat rear-facing, they should use a forward-facing seat with a full harness as long as they fit.
Ensure that the shoulder straps are at or above the child’s shoulders. Straps should be snug, with only one finger width between the strap and the child’s chest.
Remember, a child can start riding facing forward when he or she is at least 9 kg (20 lb.)
- 9 to 18 kg (20-40 lb.)
- Forward-facing seat
- Use with a tether strap
Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (between 8 and 12 years of age).
- Between 18 and 36 kg (40—80 lb.)
- Booster seat
- Use with lap and shoulder belt
- Use the right seat for the child’s height and weight.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct child car seat installation and use.
- Be sure to secure the child correctly. Make sure harness straps are snug and tight. Use a tether strap with a forward-facing child car seat. Keep children away from all active air bags. Children under 13 years of age are safest in the back seat.
- Use caution when buying or using a pre-owned child car seat. Buy new, or from someone you know, and check it carefully.
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