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Child Safety Seat Basics
Your baby will spend a lot of time in a baby seat. Every family must have one. You need to understand the basics of car seats, the types of car seats available and which ones are appropriate for your child's size, weight and age. Let's take a look at the factors you'll need to pay attention to.
Is your child riding in the back seat?
Children under 12 years need to sit in the back seat if you own a car with air bags on the passenger side. The back seat is, in fact, the safest place for the baby to be in if there is a crash.
Is your child facing the correct way?
Infants should always ride in a rear facing seat, preferably located in the back seat until he reaches a year of age and is at least 20 pounds. If a child reaches 20 pounds before a year of age, he or she should be rear facing in a bigger seat better suited to his size. Read the owner's manual of the car seat so you know which car seat works for your seat and which one is inappropriate.
Does the seat belt snuggly hold the seat in place?
Make sure you put the safety belt through the correct slots. There are different slots for different directions and you need to use the right one for the direction the car seat is facing. The seat belt must be snug and secure. Make sure you check the owner's manual for the car to see which things you need to keep in mind when the car seat is being used.
Is the safety harness buckled safely around the baby?
Make sure the straps are over the child's shoulders. You should be able to slip only a single finger beneath the straps at chest level. Put the chest clip at the level of the armpit.
What about a child over forty pounds?
Older children up to forty pounds should stay in a child safety seat. After that, use a booster seat and a seat belt until the child is four years or so of age or weighs about 80 pounds. There are special products for kids that are to antsy to stay seated in a booster chair.
How to use child safety seats in an older kid?
Children must be tall enough to sit with the knees at the edge of the seat and the feet on the floor to be removed from the booster seat. The lap belt must fit around the pelvis of the child and fit tightly around the upper thigh. The shoulder harness should fit directly over the shoulder and the chest. Children must be 4 foot 9 inches and 80 pounds to be able to get rid of the booster seat.
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