|Child's Age & Weight||Type of Seat|
Newborn to approx. 2-years old
|Rear-facing Infant or Convertible Seat|
|2-years old or older||Forward-facing Convertible
or Combination Seat
|Under 8-years old||High-back or No-back Booster Seat|
|8-years old or Over 4 ft. 9 in. tall||Lap Belts or Lap/Shoulder Belts|
Another disturbing fact comes from a recent study by the SAFE KIDS organization:
One third of children are riding in the wrong restraints for their age and size.
33% of children were in the wrong restraint for their size and age.
63% of kids who should have been in belt-positioning booster seats
(typically ages 4 to 8) were inappropriately restrained.
Does your child ride in the back seat? The back seat is generally the safest place
in a crash. If your vehicle has a passenger air bag, it is essential for children 12 and
under to ride in back.
Does your child ride facing the right way? Infants should ride in rear facing
restraints (in the back seat) until age 1 and at least 20-22 lbs. Infants who weigh 20 lbs.
before 1 year of age should ride in a restraint approved for higher rear facing weights. Always
read your child restraint manual for instructions on properly using the restraint. Children over
age one and at least 20 pounds may ride facing forward.
Does the safety belt hold the seat tightly in place? Put the belt through the
correct slots. If your safety seat can be used facing either way, use the correct belt
path for each direction. Check the vehicle owner's manual and safety seat instruction
book for guidance.
Is the harness buckled snugly around your child? Keep harness straps snug
over the child's shoulders. Place the chest clip at armpit level.
Does your child over 40 pounds have the best protection possible? Keep your
child in a safety seat with a full harness as long as possible, at least until 40 pounds.
Then use a belt-positioning booster seat which helps the adult lap and shoulder belt
fit better. A belt-positioning booster seat is preferred for children between 40-80 pounds.
It is used with the adult lap and shoulder belt.
How should a safety belt fit an older child? The child should be tall enough to sit
without slouching, with knees bent at the edge of the seat, with feet on the floor. The
lap belt must fit low and tight across the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should rest
over the shoulder and across the chest. Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or
behind the child's back. The adult lap and shoulder belt system alone will not fit most
children until they are at least 4'9" tall and weigh about 80 pounds.
Courtesy of the National Safety Council