Car crashes are the number one killer of children 1 to 12 years old in the United States. The best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right seat, at the right time, and use it the right way.
There are so many car seat types and models, how do you know which one is right for your child? The right car seat, booster or travel vest fits your child and your car, and is one you will use correctly every time you travel. Not only will your child ride as safely as possible, you will be establishing the foundation for a lifelong habit of seat belt use every time your child travels.
Most children start in a rear-facing infant seat. When babies outgrow the infant seat, they move into a toddler seat. Since children should stay rear-facing until they are at least 2 years old, most use a convertible seat which can start out rear-facing and turn forward-facing at the upper weight limit rear facing, typically about 35 pounds. They can remain in this convertible seat as they grow until they reach the upper weight limit forward facing this varies widely by seat. Some go up to 40 lbs., some 65 lbs. and some all the way up to 80 lbs. There also are travel vests like the RideSafer® Travel Vest. This vest, a car seat alternative, be used starting at 3 years old and 30 pounds. After children outgrow the convertible seat they can begin using a belt-positioning booster or remain in the Ride Safer Travel Vest. Children should remain in the booster or vest — an easy, convenient booster seat replacement — until they reach the height of 4 foot 9 inches, which is when most children will fit appropriately in a seat belt.