Child Car Safety Seats: What You Should Know

Do you know what car seat is proper for your child? Car safety is crucial for the well being of everyone in the car.

All fifty states have laws requiring the use of safety restraint seats for young children and many parents still do not know the proper type of car seat to use for their children and the different kinds of seats available for children of different ages. Providing the proper car seat for your child is crucial in protecting them from injury or death in the event of an automobile accident. Car seats should be easy to use, fit your car's seats properly and be secure with your car's seat belts.

The American Academy Of Pediatrics recommends the following guidelines for car seat usage:

1. All children under twenty pounds and younger than one year should be placed in rear-facing car seats to reduce the risk of cervical spine injury in the event of an accident. If a child reaches twenty pounds before he is one he should be restrained in a rear facing car seat built for higher weights.

2. No car seat should be placed in a seat with an air bag in front of it.

3. Premature or very small babies should not be placed in a car seat which has a plate or shield that could come in contact with the baby's face in a crash.

4. A rear-facing car seat should provide a 45 degree angle for the baby: the baby's head should not droop forward.

5. Children from 20 to 40 pounds may sit in a forward facing car seat.

6. Children over 40 pounds should be restrained in a booster seat.

The safest place for your child's car seat is in the back seat and the safest part of the back seat is the middle. Always be sure your child is properly restrained throughout the entire trip and if your child learns to unfasten his own car seat, you may want to check into a different type of car seat. Children who can unfasten their own car seats or are not restrained are subject to fatal injuries in an accident. Start early in your child's life teaching them that car safety is serious business and make sure to give a good example and always wear your own seat belt.

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