How To Find The Right Car Seat: Important information about choosing the right car seat, installing it properly, and registering it in case of a recall.
As a blogger, my inbox can get really overwhelming. I receive hundreds of emails every day and sometimes it can be difficult to decipher which ones are truly relevant to We Know Stuff readers and which ones are not. For example, I received an email with the information below about How To Find The Right Car Seat last summer.
Yes, that’s right! Last summer. It was right around the time the movie Storks came out. I loved the information and saved it to my “KEEP” folder to load into out content calendar, but then I forgot all about it.
As I was cleaning up my inbox last week, I found it and promptly smacked myself upside the head because this is really important information!! And, so many of our readers can truly benefit from it.
So without further adieu, I am now sharing this information about How To Find The Right Car Seat from Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
How To Find The Right Car Seat
For most of us, grabbing our gear and running out to the car and heading to appointments, play dates, work, and daycare are a regular everyday thing. When we have little ones, we put them in their car seat and buckle them up without a second thought to whether or not they are in the right seat. We trust that they are safe – and we go on our way.
Unfortunately, that may not be the case. Car seats, if used correctly, can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury. But over half of car seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness.
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States and 1 in 3 children killed in car crashes are completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Can you imagine? Thinking that your child is in the right car seat, only to find out that they aren’t?
So Where Do You Begin?
So what do you choose? Infant, convertible, or booster seat? Finding the right car seat and installing it correctly is no easy task. Then there’s the question of when to transition your child to another type of car seat.
Step 1: Find the right car seat.
- Understand the Age & Size Recommendations (from birth to age 13) for each variety available. Follow these recommendations for selecting a car seat based on your child’s age and size.
- Research the different types of Car Seats available. Learn about the four types of car seats.
- Read over the Car Seat Ease-of-Use Ratings. Evaluate car seat features using our car seat ease-of-use ratings.
- Choose a Car Seat that works for you and your family. Compare car seat makes and models using our Car Seat Finder tool.
Step 2: Install your car seat correctly.
- Follow these car seat installation tips to keep your child safe.
Step 3: Register your car seat and get recall notifications sent to your inbox/
- Don’t delay—register your car seat today to receive car seat and booster seat recall notices.
- Sign up to receive e-mail alerts about car seat and booster seat recalls from NHTSA.
Car Seat Safety Tips
- Find a car seat that fits your child. As children grow, how they fit in their car seat will change. Make sure the car seat you purchase is designed to fit your child’s current size and age.
- Not all car seats fit in all vehicles so test the car seat you plan to buy to make sure it fits correctly in your vehicle.
- Before installing your car seat in your vehicle and putting your child in the car seat, read the manufacturer’s instructions so you know how your car seat works.
- All-in-One car seats offer you the advantage of using the same seat for the following positions: rear-facing, forward-facing with harness, then a booster. These 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.
- Remember, the best car seat is the one that fits your child properly, is easy to use, and fits in your vehicle correctly. The information here can help you choose the right seat for your child. Keep in mind that:
- Children under age 1 should always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
- Keep children ages 1-3 in rear-facing car seats until they reach the car seat’s top height or weight limit.
- Keep your child in the back seat until at least age 13.
- Be certain you’ve installed your car seat correctly. Have it checked at a car seat inspection station or by a certified child passenger safety technician. Bring the car seat instructions AND the vehicle owner’s manual with you to a car seat inspection appointment!
Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, booster seats, and seat belts.
By working with the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) we hope to get out a message that will educate parents and caregivers about the importance of selecting the right seat for their child’s age and size, and to remind them that car seats, booster seats, and seat belts offer the best protection for children in crashes and help save lives.
*According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Before you go, check out some of our other parenting posts:
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- what can kids learn from nature? everything.
- personal hygiene for kids with autism and sensory processing disorder
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