Using a safety seat correctly makes a big difference. A child safety seat may not protect your child in a crash if it isn't used correctly and installed in the vehicle properly.
Cars were made for adults, therefore children do not fit in a seatbelt properly until they are 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Infant/ toddlers - Rear facing car seat
You can use an infant or convertible seat as long as the seat fits your child’s weight and height and fits in your vehicle. Rear-facing car seats weight limits go from 30, 40 or 50 lbs. The longer a child is rear-facing the safer they are. Children should ride rear facing in their car seat to the upper weight limit of the seat. A rear-facing car seat absorbs the force of a car crash, so do not turn the seat around before they meet the weight/height limits. Harness should at or below the child’s shoulders and should be snug. Harness clip level with the armpits.
Preschoolers/elementary - Forward facing car seat
It is recommended they ride rear facing until the upper weight and height limit on their seat. Once they have reached the upper weight or height for rear-facing, then they can turn forward facing and remain in a five-point harnesses until they outgrow the seat weight and height. Harness seat weight limits vary depending on the seat, most common weight limit is 65 pounds. When forward facing the harness straps should be at or above the child's shoulders and should be snug. Harness clip level with the armpits
Children should stay in a full harness until they have outgrown it. Most harnesses fit children up to 65 pounds or higher. The longer your child is in a full harness the safer they are. When a child outgrows their car seat they should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat in the back seat. The booster seat uses the adult lap and shoulder belt and should be used until the belt fits the child properly or until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall. Most children with reach 4’9” somewhere between 10 to 12 years.
Children can be killed or seriously injured by air bags. Children are safer in the back seat.
Sign up for a car-safety seat class. English and Spanish classes available. Visit our calendar of events to find a class near you!