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Selecting the Right Kind of Car Seat for Your Child  


Health"What kind of car seat should I use for my baby? When should I move my child to a booster seat? How do I know if my child's car seat is installed properly?"

These questions are typical of those that parents often ask about children's car seats. The following overview will help parents understand what kind of car seats to use for their children, as recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Rear-facing seat

For infants 5 to 20 pounds. Some seats will hold up to 22 pounds.
NHTSA recommendations: For the best possible protection, keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, for as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. Keep infants rear-facing until a minimum age of one year and a minimum weight of 20 pounds.

Forward-facing seat

For children up to approximately age 4 and weighing about 40 pounds.
NHTSA recommendations: When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, at a minimum age of one year and a minimum weight of 20 pounds, they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat.

Booster seat

For children weighing 40 pounds until about age 8, or 4'9" tall.
NHTSA recommendations: Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats, usually around age 4 and when they weigh 40 pounds, they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle's seat belts fit properly.

Seat belt

When children outgrow booster seats, usually at age 8 or when they are 4'9" tall, they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat.
NHTSA recommendations: The seat belt must fit properly, with the lap belt going across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fitting across the chest.

Important safety check for car seats

Although many parents believe that they have properly installed their child's car seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that this is not always the case, thereby compromising children's safety. The agency recommends having the installation checked at a child safety inspection station.

To locate a child safety inspection station closest to you, visit:



National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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