Are you using the correct car seat for your child? Here, we discuss the car seat you should use depending on your child’s age and size.

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Car Seats: Pick the Right One to Protect Your Child in a Car Accident

When you are having a baby or your young child is growing older, it can be confusing to know what type of car seat to purchase. Once you decide which one to purchase, installing it properly is your next challenge—not always easy to do. Here, we share some car seat tips to keep your children safe.

Which of These Car Seats Should You Purchase?

Having your baby or older child ride in an appropriate car seat when he is in your or anyone else’s car is essential to protecting him in a motor vehicle accident. It will significantly reduce his risk of dying in a crash. However, your child is only protected if you purchase the right car seat for him.

When picking one, you will need to consider your child’s age, weight, and height, and whether the car seat meets safety standards. Here is a guide:

  • Birth to two years old. Your baby should be in a rear-facing car seat from birth until he is two years old. However, you will need to be certain that his weight is within the seat’s weight limits.
  • Ages two to four years old. Your child should be seated in a forward-facing car seat until his weight reaches a maximum of 40 pounds.
  • Ages four to eight years old. Until your child’s height reaches 4 feet 8 inches, you should have him ride in a booster seat where he can be strapped in with a seat belt.
  • After eight years old. After your child reaches eight years old, he can sit in a regular seat if he is at least 4 feet 8 inches tall and the seat belt fits properly. Until then, he should continue to ride in a booster seat. It is also much safer if he always sits in the back seat until he is 13 years old.

When selecting a car seat, you also want to evaluate the car seat’s quality. Here is what you should look for:

  • The car seat should have a label stating it meets or exceeds Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
  • A five-point harness will protect your child better than a three-point harness.
  • To determine the car seat’s ease of use, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) five-star ease-of-use standards. A car seat that has earned four or five stars should have clear instructions and be easy to use.
  • You should not purchase a used car seat. It may have been in an accident or it may be under a safety recall.

Installing a car seat can be frustrating, and many parents do not install them properly—putting their child in danger of suffering serious injuries or death in an accident. However, you can get your car seat installation inspected at a car seat inspection station in your community. You can locate an inspection station and find more tips on purchasing a car seat on NHTSA’s website.

Even if you purchase the right car seat and insist that your child use it when in the car, he could still be seriously injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver. To learn how we can help him fight for the compensation he deserves, call our office to schedule a free case evaluation.