Choose the Best Car Seat for Your Child

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As a parent, you strive to protect your child from danger in every scenario. Your number one concern when transporting your little one is proper restraint. Since thousands of children die in motor vehicle accidents each year, you want your child's car seat to be the very best in quality and reliability. The seat must be the appropriate size and style for your youngster based on his age, weight, and height. With a little research, you can know exactly which features are necessary and when to move your child into a different restraint.

What Are My Choices
Car seats are available in three basic types: rear-facing, forward-facing, and boosters. Some models are convertible so that they can be positioned to face either the rear or the front. Others are manufactured as 3-in-1 products so that your child can use the same seat from birth to preadolescence. In some vehicles, a car seat with the LATCH system is easier to install than a regular model. Lower anchors are used instead of seat belts, and each restraint has a top tether that attaches to the anchors behind the seat. Since 2002, most passenger vehicles and car seats have been made with the LATCH system. If you use a seat belt to secure your child's restraint, then you must make sure that the belt locks in place. You may have to pull it all the way out and then allow it to be drawn back.
Which Type of Car Seat Is Right For My Child?
The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their recommendations concerning car seats in 2011. They now suggest that toddlers stay in a rear-facing restraint until they are two years old and that all children ride in the back seat until they reach the age of 13. The following guidelines will help to ensure that your youngster stays safe while on the road.

- Rear-Facing Seat / Birth - At Least Two Years Old

Your baby's head, neck, and spinal cord are frail and can be seriously injured during an auto accident. If he is in a rear-facing child restraint, then the force of the impact is evenly distributed over his whole body. The support that is provided can save his life. The weight limit for rear-facing car seats is between 40 and 50 pounds. As long as your child fits in a rear-facing restraint and has plenty of leg room, you should continue to use it for safety purposes.

- Forward-Facing Seat / Until At Least Four Years Old

Some children can stay in a forward-facing car seat with a harness when they are older than four. The weight limit is usually 80 to 90 pounds depending on the manufacturer. The most secure type of forward-facing restraint has a five-point harness. With the straps attaching to the car seat in five spots (two at the shoulders, two at the hips, and one between the legs), your toddler or preschooler will remain in a proper seating position throughout the ride. This position can protect him from serious harm during a crash. You should keep your child in a seat with a harness for as long as possible.

- Booster Seat / Up To Twelve Years Old

According to, a belt-positioning booster seat is appropriate for school-age children until they are four feet nine inches tall. A regular seat belt does not fit them properly.

Once you've determined the best restraint for your child, you should register it with NHTSA so that you'll be kept up-to-date about recalls. If you or a family member has been seriously injured in an auto accident, then you should contact an experienced Miami Car Accident Attorney immediately.