The following are general guidelines, based on recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), to help you maintain proper car seat safety and choose the most appropriate car seat for your child.
Additional information, including car seat installation videos, fact sheets, images and illustrations, is available on the Car Seat Safety for Kids website.
|Age Groups||Type of Seats||General Guidelines|
|Babies||Infant seats and rear-facing convertible seats||
For the best possible protection, your baby or toddler should ride in a rear-facing child safety seat until she is 2 years of age or until she reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of her child safety seat.
When your child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of her infant-only seat, she should continue to ride rear-facing in a convertible seat or 3-in-1 seat.
|Toddlers||Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses||When your child is 2 years or older, or is younger than 2 years but has outgrown his rear-facing child safety seat, he should use a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of his child safety seat.|
|4- to 8-year-old Children||Booster seats||If your child's weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for her child safety seat, she should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when she reaches 4 feet 9 inches in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age.|
|Older Children||Seat belts||
When your child reaches 4 feet 9 inches in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age, he should sit in the back seat of the vehicle and use the lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
The links above offer a variety of seat-specific tips from CHOP’s Injury Prevention team. For families in our area, we’re also pleased to offer local car seat inspections in order to help ensure proper car seat safety for your kids.