Car Seat Safety
Infants: 1 - 20 lbs
The law is rear facing until the child is a year old, but the latest research indicates it is still safest up to 2 years old as long as they remain within the car seats height and weight limits. Take the next step to a forward facing car seat when your child exceeds the rear facing seat height and weight limits, or if the top of your child's head is within one inch of the car seat top.
Use a forward facing car seat until the harness no longer fits. Take the next step to a booster seat if: your child exceeds the seat height and weight limits, and/or your child's shoulders are above the car seat top harness, and/or the top of your child's ears are above the car seat.
Use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder safety belts until your child passes the Safety Belt Fit Test (see below). Your child may be ready for a seat belt if: they exceed the booster seat height and weight limit, and pass the fit test.
SAFETY BELT FIT TEST
Your child's knees should bend at the edge of the seat when their back and bottom are both against the vehicle seat back, AND the belt lap fits across their upper thighs, AND the shoulder belt fits across their shoulders and chest. Children are usually between 8-12 when the seat belt fits them properly.
Once your child has passed the fit test, require them to use safety belts in every vehicle, on every trip, whether or not you are there. A lap and shoulder belt providers the best protection for your child, and helps them maintain the correct seating position.