NHTSA Recommendations for Child Safety Seats in Vehicles


Proper installation of child safety seats is a key factor in ensuring a child’s safety while traveling. Many states are providing free inspections to inspect and verify the installation of your child safety seat.

Below is a list of 4 different choices and installations, each are different according to the child’s age:
1. Infants (birth to at least 1-year-old and at least 20 lbs.)
For maximum protection for infants, keep them in the back seat in a rear-facing child safety seat. Use this method until the infant reaches the height and weight requirements of the particular seat. At a minimum, use this method until the child is at least 1-year-old and 20 lbs.

2. Toddlers (age 1-year-old & 20 lbs. and 4-years-old & 40 lbs.)
Once a child has outgrown his or her rear-facing child safety seat, the child should travel in a forward-facing child safety seat placed in the back seat of the vehicle. Use this method until the child reaches the particular height and weight requirements of the particular seat.

3. Children (ages 4 to 8-years-old)
Once a child outgrows his or her forward-facing seat, the child should ride in a booster seat in the back seat until the seat belts fits the child properly. A seat belt fits properly when the lap belt lays across the thighs and the should belt lays across the chest.

4. Seat belts
When children outgrow their booster seats they should wear a seat belt while sitting in the back seat. A child usually can wear a seat belt properly around 8-years-old and 4’9″ tall.

Fore more information on this topic please see Proper installation methods of child safety seats.

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