Unfortunately, car accidents are the leading cause of death among children under 14 years of age. It is important to find the right infant car seat or booster for your child to maximize their safety.
So what are the different types of car and booster seats? Which one is best for your child? Let’s find out!
According to the American Association of Pediatrics, all infants, including newborns should travel in rear-facing seats. They should continue traveling this way until they reach the height or weight limit specified by the manufacturer, which is generally the first year of life.
There are 3 types of rear-facing car seats:
As the name implies, it cannot be used in any way besides the rear-facing position. These seats are meant for newborns and infants. Babies outgrow rear-facing-only seats when they are around 9-months old. Parents can purchase convertible seats as an alternative since they last longer.
These can be used in the rear-facing position by children who are below the weight or height limit. But when they outgrow the prescribed limit, the seat may be used in a forward-facing position. Because of this feature, these seats will last longer than rear-facing-only seats.
As the name implies, an all-in-one seat can be used at all stages, including the booster level seat (for older toddlers). The biggest advantage is that it can serve in all capacities until your child is big enough to sit on the normal passenger seat.
These seats have a tether and harness in order to restrain the forward motion of your child during a collision.
A big question for parents is: when can children be switched to the forward-facing position? The American Association of Pediatrics has revised its policy substantially on this issue. Previously, it stated that children should remain rear-facing until the age of two, however, they now advise parents to keep their children rear-facing seats per car seat manufacturer weight recommendations.
Booster seats can be used by children who are too big for forward-facing seats. When children exceed the height or weight limit recommended by the seat manufacturer, they should switch to booster seats. This usually applies to children who are 8-12 years old and whose height is at least 4 feet 9 inches.
The purpose of booster seats is to position children correctly for seatbelts. Booster seats are designed to adjust the height of children. This is necessary because they are so short that seat belts pass over their neck, face, and belly. This is very dangerous because force will be directed at these fragile body parts causing more harm in an accident. With a booster seat, your kids will be positioned correctly. The seat belt then passes, as intended, over their chest and pelvis.