One of the most important measures to take when traveling with children is to make sure that they are properly restrained, which is typically done with some sort of safety seat. Children should always ride in the backseat of a vehicle, since children who do are 38% less likely to be injured in a car accident. In fact, child safety seats reduce fatal injury by 54% for toddlers and 71% for infants. Not all car seats are the same, however — the right one depends on the size and age of the child who will use it.
There are three different types of car seats: rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seats, and each one is appropriate for a different age group.
Rear-facing car seats are best for very young children. This type of seat should be used by infants until they are a year old and weigh at least 20 pounds.
Children older than one year may be seated in a forward-facing seat, but those in forward-facing seats are four times more likely to be injured in a side impact crash than children who are in rear-facing seats.
Between the ages of four and eight, children should sit in booster-style seats. A booster seat with a positioning belt is safe for children who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds.
Most people believe that their children are properly restrained when riding in a car, but research shows that this is not the case. In fact, 96% of people think that the child safety seats in their cars are installed correctly; however, seven out of 10 of them are not.
When it comes to buying a safety seat for a child, the most important things to consider are the child’s age and weight. It is always good practice to do research and look for product recalls for a potential safety seat. Additionally, child safety seats should never be bought second-hand, since older products may not be up-to-date with national safety guidelines and requirements.