Safety car Seats: A Guide for Families (2022)

Ensuring that our children are safe when travelling in a vehicle is one of the most important tasks that we have as parents. Thousands of children are killed or injured in car accidents every year. Children can be kept safe if proper use of car seats is followed.

Since there are so many different seats on the market for parents to choose from, this is an overwhelming topic. If you are expecting a child, you should consider working with a certified passenger safety technician before you leave the hospital to make sure you get home safely. Your child’s age, size, and developmental needs are just some of the factors that can affect the type of seat your child needs. There is more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about choosing the right car seat for your child.

What are the ages for car seats? 2022

The “Types of Car Safety Seats” chart can be used to start searching. You should keep doing your research to get information on each seat you use.

Installation Information: Seat Belts and LATCH System

It’s possible to install a car safety seat with the vehicle’s seat belt or the LATCH system. Place of the seat belt to install the seat, and many parents find them easier to use in some cars.

Is it possible to install a forward-facing car seats with LATCH?

The top strap enhances the safety provided by the seat and is important to use for all forward-facing seats, even those that are installed with the car seat belt. While the seat belt and LATCH systems are as safe as can be, caregivers may prefer one approach or the other. If the car seat manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer agree that it is appropriate to use both systems simultaneously, then only one method should be used.

Vehicles with the LATCH system have lower anchor points at the junction between the cushions in the rear seat. On most pickup, SUVs, five-door cars, and pick-up trucks, there are tether straps behind the seat, either on the panel behind the seat or on the seatback, roof, or floor. The forward-facing car seats have attachment points that fit the anchors. LATCH is used in almost all passenger vehicles and car seats that were manufactured after September 1, 2002.

It’s a good idea to consult your vehicle owner’s manual for more information on the maximum weight allowed for your child to use the top strap. The total weight of the car seat and child is included in the full weight of the lower anchors. The manufacturer’s recommendations for the maximum weight a child must have to use the lower anchor should be reviewed by the parents. There is a maximum weight printed on the label of the new car safety seats.

Note: Seat belts, if you install a car seat using your vehicle’s seat belt, you must ensure that the belt locks for a proper fit. In most newer cars, you can lock the seat belt by pulling it all the way and then retracting it to keep it snug around the car seat. Additionally, many car safety seats have built-in belt locks to lock the belt independently, without having also to close the seat belt. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for details on how your seat belt locks.

The safest place for children under 13 years of age to be in is the middle back seat. If possible, ride in the middle of the back seat. It can be difficult to install a firm car seat in the middle of a vehicle seat that is narrow. The safest way to put the seat in the middle of the rear seat is with the lower anchor system or seat belt. There is a child passenger safety technician.

Why should I dress my baby in thinner layers of clothing before putting him in a car seat?

  • Bulky garments, such as winter coats and snow suits, can collapse in an accident and leave the straps too loose to restrain your child, with an increased risk of injury. Ideally, you should dress your baby in thinner layers of clothing and cover or tuck him in with a coat or blanket over the buckled harness straps if necessary. See: AAP Tips for Safe Car Seat Use in Winter.  

Do premature babies need a special car seat?

  • A car seat must be approved for the weight of an infant. Very young babies who can sit safely in a semi-reclined position generally fit best in rear-facing seats only. Premature babies should be tested while they are in the hospital to make sure they can sit safely in a semi-reclined position. 
  • Babies who need to lie down during travel should travel in a car bed that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. They should be tested while in the hospital to make sure they can lie down safely. safe in the car bed.

Forward-facing seats for toddlers and preschoolers

Always read the vehicle owner’s manual and the car safety seat manual before installing the seat. Any child who has exceeded the weight limit for their rear-facing car seat or the height limit for their convertible seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the maximum weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of your car safety seat. 

Ideally, children should ride in harness seats for as long as possible, at least up to 4 years of age. If your child is larger than a seat before age 4, consider using a seat with a harness approved for greater weights and heights.

Types of fasteners for forward-facing seats

Four types of restraints can be used for vehicle safety in forward-facing seats:

  • Convertible Seats – Seats that can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing. Among these are the all-in-one seats.
  • Harness Seat Combination Seat can be used forward-facing with a harness for children weighing up to 40 to 65 pounds (depending on model) or without the harness as a booster (up to 100 to 120 pounds, depending on model).
  • Built-in Seats – Some vehicles have built-in forward-facing seats. Height and weight limits vary. However, do not use built-in seats until your child is at least 2 years old. Read your vehicle’s owner’s manual for details on how to use these seats.
  • Travel Vests – Can be worn by children between 20 and 168 pounds and can be an alternative to traditional forward-facing seats. They are useful when a vehicle has seat belts only for the lap in the back seat, for children with special needs or for children whose weight has exceeded that allowed by the car safety seats. These vests may require a top lanyard.

About Car Safety Seats on Airplanes

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the AAP recommend that when flying, children under 40 pounds are well secured with certified child straps. This will help keep them safe during takeoff and landing and in the event of turbulence. Most rear-facing, convertible, and forward-facing seats can be used on aeroplanes. Booster chairs and travel vests, no.

Read your seat’s instruction manual and look for a label on the car safety seat that says, “This strap is certified for use on motor vehicles and aircraft.” You can also consider the option of wearing a strap made only for aircraft use and approved by the FAA. Older children can use the aeroplane seat belt or continue to use their car seat on the aeroplane as long as it is labelled for aeroplane use and the child has not exceeded the weight or height limit of the seat. Remember that your child will need to use an appropriate car seat when arriving at the destination. For more information, visit the FAA website, or the CARES website in English (child safety harnesses for aircraft).

If you need help with installation:

If you have questions or need help installing your car seat, find a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST). On the following websites you can find lists of certified CPSTs and child seat adjustment stations:

Websites in English:

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