The New Year can often bring many new laws in your state, and that includes car seat laws. Are your kids in the right car seat for their age and size? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a great tool to help you find out what the best seat for your child might be.
Using The Right Seat tool developed by the NHTSA, parents can input their child’s age, height, and weight, and the website will provide a wealth of information, beginning with what type of seat a child should be riding in–rear-facing car seat, forward-facing carseat, booster, or seat belt.
From there, users can find suggestions for specific brands and models of seats that match the kind recommended. Each recommendation provides even more details for parents to utilize, including height and weight limits, ease of use ratings and more.
The NHTSA states that 675 children ages 12 and younger were killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2017. Every 32 seconds, a child is involved in a car crash while riding in a passenger vehicle, and properly used car seats can reduce risk of injury by 71% as well (all statistics are from 2017).
The NHTSA also notes the importance of the right seat for children older than age 8, stating:
For their safety, many kids 8 to 12 years old still need to use a booster seat. Make sure they ride in a booster seat until they outgrow the size limits of their booster, or until they are big enough for an adult seat belt to fit them properly. A properly fitting seat belt means:
- The shoulder belt lies snugly across the shoulder and chest, not crossing the neck or face.
- The lap belt lies snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach.
They also recommend keeping children in the backseat of passenger vehicles until age 12, for maximum safety.
Learn why experts also state babies should NOT sleep in car seats unless traveling too.