Car Seats & Installation
May 22, 2013
The other day we wrote about using a car seat after a car crash, but what about the day-to-day using a car seat.
Which car seat is right for my child?
What are the "proper" ways to install a car seat?
Who should install the car seat?
How long should a child be rear-facing?
When do you turn a child forward facing?
How long can my child use the car seat?
When should I replace the car seat?
Car seat issues are enough to make your head spin.
We, at Murray & MacDonald Insurance, are licensed insurance agents, we are not licensed car seat installers, testers, etc. We do know a thing or two about safety & car seats.
Today, we're going to share a few reference sites that may help you answer some of your #carseatangst questions.
1) Which car seat is right for my child? This is a tricky one. It's personal preference, it's the car you drive, it's your lifestyle. Some people love the flexibility of an infant seat while their baby is young, others prefer to use a convertible seat that you don't take in & out.
2) What are the "proper" ways to install a car seat?The link in the question will direct you to a website called www.safercar.gov - they list the correct way to install a car seat with and without the latch.
3) Who should install the car seat? If you don't trust yourself, a car-seat technician can install it, find one here. But, if you are the care-giver on a regular basis, you should learn how to properly install the car-seat. This will give you peace of mind your little one is protected. There are many car seats out there that are much easier to install than they used to be!
For the last 4 questions from above, you should reference the manual. Many car-seats have an expiration date. The car-seats will also state if they are meant for rear-facing or forward-facing and for how long.
The recommendations from Safercar.gov are follows:
- Birth - 12 months - Your child under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. There are different types of rear-facing seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.
- 1 - 3 years - Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. It's the best way to keep him or her safe. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
- 4 - 7 years - Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
- 8 - 12 years - Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not cross the neck or face. Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because it's safer there.
Here are a few videos on rear-facing car crash impacts vs forward facing: