Child Car Seat Safety Guide
The safety of your child should always be one of your main priorities when driving. If you're the parent of a young child, you probably have used a child car seat at one point. But many parents don't bother to check the suggested safety recommendations that the government provides to best ensure that your child is safe and secure. One such government organization is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has updated their child car seat guidelines. Here's an overview:
Choose a Child Car Seat Based on Age and Size
The car seat that you choose for your child should be based on his or her age, size, and weight. If your child is under a year old, a rear-facing car seat should be used, while a forward-facing car seat should only be used at a later age.
Pay Attention to the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Each car seat is different, so it's important to make sure that you read the manufacturer’s instructions. You also should make sure that you read the vehicle owner's manual to learn how to properly install the child car seat. You must pay attention to the specified height and weight limits of the particular seat. They're there for a reason.
Keep Your Child in a Rear-Facing Seat for as Long as Possible
The safest type of child car seat is a rear-facing one, and if your child fits within the height and weight limits, he or she be kept in one for as long as possible. Convertible and 3-in-1 child car seats usually will have higher height and weight limits, so these tend to be the best ones purchase in terms of longevity.
Have Your Child Sit in the Back Seat Through Age 12
You should also make sure that your child sits in the back seat of the car, regardless of whether or not you're using a child car seat, at least through the age of 12. If your child has outgrown regular car seats, a booster seat should be used until the child is able to have the seat belt fit properly.
Pay attention to the little details when it comes to purchasing a child car seat and follow the above recommendations. For further reference, visit the NHTSA's website at: http://www.safercar.gov/parents/index.htm