Backwards-facing car seats are recommended until at least age two
Every parent worries about their baby’s safety in a car, but with so many configurations of car seats on the market, it may be hard to choose.
Bacharach’s pediatric physical therapists frequently assess infants’ posture in their car seats to make sure they are being properly secured for travel.
Here are some important guidelines to make sure your baby is safe.
From birth to at least 2 years of age rear facing car travel is recommended, although the longer the child is rear facing, the safer they are . The rear facing seats are designed to cradle and protect the child’s vulnerable neck and spine
After age 2 the child can use a forward facing seat with a 5-point harness. Children can stay in this kind of seat until they outgrow the seat weight limit, which can be 65 – 110 pounds, depending on the model.
Once they outgrow the manufacturer’s limits for their forward facing seat with a 5 point harness a child can use a booster. Booster seats raise the child so that the seatbelt lies properly in the lap and crosses the body at the right point. To use a booster, children should be over 4 years old and over 40 pounds, but under 4’ 9”.
Even after they outgrow the booster, it is recommended that kids under the age of 13 continue to ride in the back seat of cars. Children old enough to use only the car seatbelt should use the shoulder and lap seat belts for safety.
Always check car seat height and weight requirements. All car seats have minimum and maximum weight requirements. Most have height maximums too. A lot of seats require a change in the configuration of the seat installation based on child’s measurements (including when to use LATCH – vs- seat belt). These can all be found in the manufacturer’s instructions.
Make sure there are no twists, wrinkles or knots in car seat straps. Tighten car seat straps so that the fabric cannot be pinched. All chest straps should be at nipple or armpit height on the child.
It is always a good idea to remove bulky clothing like coats or snow suits for infants and toddlers in car seats.
A good safe car seat will help everyone in the family enjoy the ride.