When it’s time to hit the road—whether you’re coming back from the hospital on day one or off to grandma’s house for a weekend visit—car seat safety is something every parent should know front to back (or front to rear facing!) Keep reading to learn more tips to keep your child safe every day.
6 Car seat Safety Tips for every parent
- Stay rear-facing as long as possible. In their most recent published recommendations, the AAP recommends that babies remain in a rear-facing car safety seat for as long as possible. That means that they should stay in their car seat until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat. And, since most car seat manufacturers make seats that allow babies to remain rear-facing up to 40 lbs, more often than not, your baby can remain rear-facing past their 2-year birthday.
- Use a harness if they’re front-facing. Once your baby is front-facing, they should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible. To make sure you’re optimizing for car seat safety, the AAP suggests that they can stay until they reach the height and weight limits for their seats. Many seats can accommodate toddlers up to 65 pounds or more.
- Center is safest. Recently conducted research suggests that installing your car seat in the center seat is statistically safer than the right or left side of the backseat. Center is safest if this is possible for your vehicle.
- Transition to a booster seat. When your toddler outgrows their car seats, they should use a booster seat until your car’s seat belt fits properly. The transition to the booster seat will typically will happen on or around their second birthday, but remember, every kid is different and will grow differently, so this one is less scientific and more in the art of parenting.
- Always buckle up for safety. When your toddler has fully grown out of car seats and booster seats, always make sure they’re wearing the lap and shoulder seat belts and remain in the back seat for their safety. This typically happens between the ages of 8 and 12.
- The front seat is for big kids only. All kids younger than 13 years should sit in the back seat of your car. It’s the safest place for them. That means no shotgun until they’re of the appropriate age!
TAKE OUR Car seat Safety ONLINE PARENTING CLASS
Did you know that The Baby Box Co. offers free online parenting classes with rewards? Right now you can take our a Vehicle & Car Seat Safety class that goes way beyond the basics learned in this blog. Plus, when you complete the class, we’ll reward you with a free Welcome Baby Kit from our proud sponsor Michelin.
Take the Class & Get a Reward