– Placing your baby in the right car seat is one of the most important things that you can do to ensure his or her safety. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in children under the age of 4, and a car seat can greatly reduce the risk of your child becoming injured in a crash. drugstore.com carries car seats for children of all ages at great prices.
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Newborns and infants are safest when they are placed in rear-facing infant car seats. The majority of serious auto accidents are front-end collisions. If babies are facing forward during a front-end crash, the force of the collision can cause serious injury to their brains or spinal cords. Keeping your baby facing the back seat allows the car seat to support the head, neck and back in a front-end collision. Rear facing car seats often have bases with removable infant seats. These car seats can double as infant carriers, so that you can easily move your baby to and from the car. Some even coordinate with stroller bases, so that you do not have to remove your baby from the seat to go for a stroll.
Forward-Facing and Convertible Seats for Toddlers
Most babies are ready to transition out of their rear-facing infant car seat around 2 years of age. At this point, a forward facing car seat with lap and shoulder restraints becomes the safest option for your baby. If you want to be able to use the same car seat through your child's infancy and toddler years, you can purchase a convertible car seat. These seats can be used as both rear-facing and forward-facing models, but they do not double as infant seats for use outside of the car. If you prefer the convenience of a car seat that can be used as an infant carrier, consider buying a traditional forward-facing car seat when your child outgrows the rear-facing seat.
Booster Car Seats for Big Kids
By the age of 4, most children can no longer comfortably fit in a traditional forward-facing car seat; however, children are usually not tall enough to sit properly with a seat belt alone until around the age of 8 years. Until your child is around 57 inches tall, you may need a booster car seat with your vehicle's safety belts to ensure that he or she is protected if an accident occurs.
Important Safety Tips for Car Seats
In order for a car seat to fully protect your child in a crash, it must be placed in the back seat and installed properly. Consult the owner's manual of your vehicle and the instruction manual included with your car seat for proper installation instructions. Each state has its own laws regarding car seats. You can contact your Department of Motor Vehicles to find out what the requirements are in your area. Make sure that you follow the weight and height guidelines for the car seat that you choose. Switching to a new car seat before your child is ready or delaying the transition to a new seat when your child grows can put him or her at risk for injury in the event of an accident.