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Car Seat and Stroller Buying Guide and Safety Tips

Car Seat & Stroller Safety Tips

Car Seat and Stroller Buying Guides and Safety Tips

Car Seat Buying Guide

Which car seat is right for your child?

Birth - 12 months

Children under the age of 1 should always ride on a REAR-FACING car seat.

There are different types of rear-facing car seats: Infant-only seats can only be used rear-facing. Convertible and 3-in 1 car seats typically have higher height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your child rear-facing for a longer period of time.

1-3 years

Keep your 1 to 3 year old children in a REAR-FACING car seat for as long as possible. It's the best way to keep them safe. They should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer.

Once outgrown the rear-facing car seat, your child is ready to travel in a FORWARD-FACING car seat with a harness.

4-7 years

Keep your 4 to 7 year old children in their FORWARD-FACING car seat with a harness until they the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat's manufacturer.

Once they outgrow their forward-facing car seat with a harness, it's time to travel on a BOOSTER SEAT ... but still in the rear seat.

8-12 years

Keep your 8 to 12 year old children on their BOOSTER SEAT until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly.

Seat Belts

For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.

Remember: your child should still ride in the back seat because they are safer there.

Car Seat Safety Tips

  • Always be sure to place your child's car seat in the rear away from the dangerous air bags located in the front of the car.
  • For infants up to 30 pounds and 2 year or less in age, the car seat should be facing the rear of the car and it should be placed at a 45 degree angle. Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible and permitted by the manufacturer.
  • Use the car's seat belt or LATCH system to lock the car seat into the car, do not use both at the same time.
  • When the seat is installed make sure that it cannot be shifted by more than an inch in any direction. If it slips on the seat place a liner underneath the seat for added grip to prevent sliding.
  • Harnesses should be placed properly to ensure the safety of your child. For rear-facing car seats the harness should be at or slightly below the infant's shoulders. For front-facing toddlers the harness straps should be at or slightly above the toddler's shoulders. Make sure that the harness is properly snug, you can check this by making sure that no more than once finger can be inserted behind the straps.
  • The chest clip should be at armpit level.
  • Car seats usually have a life of 6 years, but always check with the manufacturer and verify the life of your specific car seat model.
  • Do not use/accept any car seats you do not know the full history on.
  • Make sure to always check for recalled models and be sure to return your warranty card so that you can be notified of a recall.
  • Replace any car seat that has been involved in any type of accident, even a minor crash.
  • Download Recommendations for Children PDF
Car Seat

Stroller Safety Tips

  • Make sure that your stroller is fully in the open position and locked before placing your child in it to avoid collapse.
  • Always use the harness or safety belt to ensure that you child is securely in the stroller.
  • To reduce the risk of possible injury make sure the child does not exceed the stroller's weight limit. Also do not overload the stroller with more children than the stroller is designed for.
  • The safety/parking brake should always be engaged when the stroller is stopped.
  • Keep your baby or toddler away from the stroller when it is being folded or unfolded in order to avoid any injury.
  • Do not hang bags, purses, etc. on the handles of the stroller to prevent it from tipping over.
  • Never leave your stroller and child unattended.
  • Be sure to return the warranty card so that you can be notified of a recall.

More information

For more information visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission

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