Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the United States. Many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age and size appropriate child safety seats and booster seats reduce serious and fatal injuries by more than half.
WHICH TYPE OF CHILD SAFETY SEAT SHOULD YOUR CHILD BE IN?
Rear-Facing Only Seat
Can be used until the baby reaches the maximum weight of the seat (22-35 lbs.) or the baby’s head is within one inch of the top edge of the seat. Must be rear-facing.
Convertible Safety Seat
Should be used when the child outgrows the height and weight limits of the rear-facing seat (see above). Older babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing convertible seat until they are at least two years old. Check manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum weight (30-50 lbs.). The convertible seat can then be switched to forward-facing.
Forward-Facing Only Safety Seat
This seat can only be used forward-facing and should not be used until the child is a minimum of 2-years-old. Children should ride in a safety seat with a harness as long as possible (40-90 lbs., depending on the model).
Safety Booster Seat
Children who have outgrown their safety seats need a booster for proper belt fit (usually until age 10-12). To find out if a child is tall enough to wear just a safety belt, try the 5-Step Test (see below).
5-Step Test (Conduct without Booster)
- Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
- Is the lap belt below the tummy, touching the thighs?
- Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your child still needs a booster seat to ride safely in the car.
If you would like to set up an appointment to have your Child Safety Seat inspected or have any questions regarding child safety seats, please feel free to call the Demopolis Police Department (334) 289-3073 and ask for Sgt. Monica Oliver.