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Rear-facing Car Seat
A rear-facing car seat is a seat that faces the rear of the car. Facing the back
is five times safer than facing the front. It is safer because a child’s head, neck
and spine are better protected. Keep kids rear facing as long as they are
within the weight and height limits for the car seat.
Rear-facing
Rear-facing
CarSeat
Seat
Car
Proper Fit is Key to Safety
Top of the child’s head is at least one
inch below the top of the car seat
Harness straps are at or below
the shoulders and should be snug
Chest clip is at armpit level
Buckle is in front of the
child with no gaps
Use Rear-facing Car Seats correctly:
• Always check the car seat and vehicle owner’s manual for the correct way to use and install.
• Never place a rear-facing child seat in front of an airbag.
• Check with the car seat manufacturer before using accessories that did not come with the seat.
This includes headrests, blankets and padding.
• Once installed, the seat should move no more than one inch from side to side or front to back
at the belt path.
• It’s okay if your child’s feet touch the back of the vehicle seat. Keeping your child rear facing
provides more protection.
• Do not use car seats that are old, expired or have been in a crash.
What comes next?
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Booster and Car Seat Clinic
To schedule an appointment, call Central Scheduling
(877) 607-5280. (Se habla Español)
chw.org/carseats
#1662EN July 2017 Page 1 of 2
© 2017 Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. All rights reserved.
Kids can move into a Forward-facing Car Seat when:
They are at least 2 years old and have outgrown the rear-facing only car seat. If they are younger
than 2 and outgrowing the rear-facing seat, look for a seat that goes rear facing to higher weights
and heights. This may allow them to stay rear facing past the age of 2.
Forward-facing Car Seat
Forward-facing
Car Seat
It is best to keep kids forward facing in a car seat with a harness as long as they are within
the weight and height limits for the car seat. The harness in a forward-facing car seat protects
by contacting the strongest parts of the body and spreading crash forces over a wide area.
Parenting Tips for Car Seats:
• Riding in the back seat and in a car seat is required by law.
• Always using a car seat correctly makes a safe habit for children.
• Pull over if a child gets upset. It might be time for everyone to take a break.
• Praise kids when they are sitting in the car seat and belted correctly.
• Wear your seat belt. Children are more likely to buckle up if they see a parent or caregiver
buckled up.
• Let others who drive your kids know that a car seat is a must.
#1662EN July 2017 Page 2 of 2
© 2017 Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. All rights reserved.
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