Road injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. According to SafeKids.org, correctly used child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by as much as 71%.
The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age, size, and developmental needs. Here is more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about choosing the most appropriate car safety seat for your child.
Infants and toddlers
All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear facing for 2 years or more.
Toddlers and preschooler
Children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their convertible seat should use a forward-facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat manufacturer. Many seats can accommodate children up to 65 pounds or more.
All children whose weight or height exceeds the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are eight to 12 years of age. All children younger than 13 years should ride in the back seat.