Right Seat Right Use Right Time

Right Seat
Right Use
Right Time
WWW.CARSAFETYNOW.ORG
KEEP CHILDREN REAR-FACING
UNTIL AT LEAST AGE 2
• Start your child in a rear-facing
car seat in the back seat. Rearface until they reach the upper
weight and height limits of the
seat, even past age 2.
• If your child outgrows their car
seat before age 2, change to a
seat with higher rear-facing
weight and height limits.
• Keep rear-facing as long as
possible.
• Leg crowding is expected and
does not harm the child.
Here’s Why:
• A rear-facing car seat moves
with your child and absorbs
crash forces.
• Cradles child to reduce harm to
neck and spine.
• Children under 2 are more
vulnerable and likely to be
injured if forward facing.
1
KEEP CHILDREN IN CAR SEATS
WITH HARNESSES UNTIL AT
LEAST AGE 5:
KEEP CHILDREN IN BOOSTER
SEATS UNTIL THE SEAT BELT
FITS and UNTIL 4’9”:
• When your child outgrows the
rear-facing seat, use a forwardfacing car seat with a harness
and tether in the back seat.
• Remember to keep rear-facing
as long as possible before
turning forward.
• Use a car seat with a harness
and tether until age 5, or until
they reach the upper height
and weight limits for the
harness.
• When your child outgrows the
forward-facing car seat with
harness, use a booster seat in
the back seat.
• Use a booster seat until the belt
fits correctly (see next step).
• A booster seat is often needed
until 4 ft 9 in (57”) tall. Your
child may be 12 years old
before ready for an adult safety
belt.
Here’s Why:
• Harnesses spread crash forces
over strong parts of the body.
• Harnesses keep the child’s body
properly positioned in a crash.
• The tether limits head injuries
by reducing car seat movement
in a crash.
2
Here’s Why:
• A booster raises a child up so
the belt rests over strong parts
of the body.
• Decreases stomach, neck, and
spine injuries.
• Discourages kids from putting
the shoulder belt under their
arm or behind their back, which
causes harm in a crash.
3
KEEP CHILDREN BELTED IN THE
BACK SEAT UNTIL AGE 13:
• Children should ride in a lap
and shoulder seat belt in the
back seat once they outgrow a
booster seat.
• Kids are ready for a seat belt
when: 1) The shoulder strap
crosses the center of the chest
and rests on the shoulder (not
the neck). (2) The lap belt fits
on the upper thighs near hips
(not the stomach). (3) Knees
can bend when sitting all the
way back in the seat, and feet
are flat on the floor.
• Use the back seat for kids under
13.
Here’s Why:
• A seat belt keeps the child
inside the vehicle in a crash.
• Spreads crash forces.
• Protects head and spine.
• Back seat is safer than the
front.
4
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