Tips on Car Seat Safety for Infants and Toddlers

In a report released in 2006 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was found that the use of special booster seats in cars have led to the saving of the lives of 425 children below age 5. The report concluded that these special child safety seats helped in reducing the risk of death among infants by 71 percent and among toddlers by 54 percent.

It is not enough, however, that you have such a safety seat inside your car. You also need to know which type of seat is best for a particular age group and how to use them.

Let us take a look at the child safety seats that are currently available in the market…

Infant Safety Seats

If a parent does not take the necessary steps to secure an infant’s safety inside a car, catastrophe can happen in the event of a car crash. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the immaturity and fragility of a baby’s head and neck makes them very susceptible to serious injuries resulting from whiplash and impact trauma. It is the recommendation that babies be secured in a rear-facing infant seat, so that his/her upper body will be in a more stable position in the event of a car crash.

Infant safety seats come with a base that is installed in the car. You just simply detach the seat from the base and use the handles to carry the baby around. A rear-facing infant seat is recommended for babies 1 year of age and below and weighing at least 20 pounds, although there are some models that can accommodate a weight of 30 pounds.

Toddler Safety Seats

Although a toddler may be bigger than an infant, his or her body is still not strong enough to withstand strong impacts and collision resulting from car crashes. While it is still preferable that a toddler uses a rear-facing seat, parents can now opt for a convertible safety seat, wherein you can turn the seat so that it can face front or the rear. There are specifications for each model, but the age range for most convertible safety seats is 1 and 4 years old. Make sure that you read the instruction manual that comes with the safety seat carefully. Usually, you will need to change the toddler safety seat to forward-facing when your child reaches 40 pounds in weight.

Booster Seats

Booster seats are recommended for children before they reach the height of 4 feet nine inches (which is around 8 years old). Some cars have harness-style seats which you can convert into booster seats just by taking off the harness. You can also purchase a separate booster seat, which is attached to the car shoulder or lap belt.

Special Considerations

There are special considerations that you need to take note of aside from the car safety seat.

1. Regardless of whatever type of safety seat you use, all children below 13 years old should be seated at the back seat of the car.

2. Know how to use the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system of your car. This is a system of hooks and restraints that make sure that child safety seat is secured to your car. You should know how to release the LATCH system in the event that you do get into a car accident and you need to get your baby out of the safety seat.


Learn about infant and toddler car seat safety today!


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