A recent study examining child death rates in car crashes reveals that 20 percent of kids involved in a deadly crash were unrestrained or inappropriately restrained at the time of the crash.
There are three main types of car seats: rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seats.
Children under 2 must ride rear-facing only and in the back seat. After 2 they can switch to forward-facing with harness and top tether. Booster seats are for children who are too heavy or too tall for a car seat with a harness.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics is really encouraging parents not to allow their children to ride in the front seat until they are, again, 4' 9" – the size you need, the height you need to properly use the seat belt,” Julie Anderson from Safe Kids said.
Most children are between 8 and 12 before an adult seat belt will fit them correctly.
Safekids.org has a very handy ultimate car seat guide where you can enter your child’s age and weight to find the right car seat for them, as well as buying, installation, and maintenance tips.
Remember, car seats should always be bought brand new because it will have the latest technology, all the parts, labels and instructions it needs. Plus – you’ll know it hasn’t been involved in a crash.