The first rule of child safety seats is to fit the correct seat to your child’s (and family’s) needs. The type of car seat your child needs depends on many factors. No one seat is the "safest" or the "best." The "best" child safety seat for your family is the one that is easy to use, fits in your vehicle's seats, is compatible with the vehicle's seat belts or LATCH system, and is the proper size for your child, based on age, height and weight.
Remember, your baby will ride rear-facing until she is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height limit allowed by the manufacturer of her child safety seat. Some rear-facing child safety seats accommodate infants up to 35 pounds or more. Please visit Car Seat Safety For Your Baby for a description and types of child safety seats.
Follow this easy-to-use checklist when buying a new child safety seat:
If you are buying a used child safety seat, you also have to check the following:
If you still have concerns about installing and using the child safety seat properly, you can visit a car seat fitting station nationally or in the greater Philadelphia area. Please visit our Car Seat Checks page to learn more.
For CPS questions, feedback or more information:
Order our free DVD, "A Crash Course in Child Passenger Safety," with content available in both English and Spanish: