According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car seats and booster seats provide protection for infants and children in a car accident. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages 1-13. It is very important to use the right car seat for your child each time your child is in a moving vehicle. 

 

There are 4 types of car seats listed below. 

  • Infant car seat -- These should be used until your child reaches the maximum height or weight for the seat according to the manufacturer. This car seat should only be used in the rear-facing position. 

  • Convertible car seat -- Most children can remain rear-facing until between ages 3-4. Once a child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, they are ready to travel forward facing with a harness and with the car seat tethered. A child should remain in a convertible car seat until they reach the maximum height or weight by the manufacturer of the car seat. 

  • Booster seat -- Once a child outgrows their convertible car seat, they are ready to travel in a booster seat but still in the back seat of the vehicle. A child should remain in a booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. Most children will not outgrow a booster until around 12 years old. 

  • All-in-one car seat -- This is a type of convertible seat that works also as a booster seat. This seat will have a tether and the child should be tethered when forward facing. These car seats can be used for both rear and forward facing. 

 

A child is usually not ready to be without a car seat/booster seat until around age 12 or once they have reached maximum height or weight limits for their seat. The seat belt should lie across upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest. Once they are ready for a seat belt they still should remain in the back seat, as that is the safest place in a vehicle.

Car Seat Safety Facts

  • 634 children 12 years old and under were killed in traffic accidents as passengers in 2018.

  • Every 32 seconds a child is involved in a traffic accident as a passenger.

  • Car seats reduce the risk of a fatal injury by 71%

Local Car Seat Inspection Technician:

Walker County Health Department

Michelle Richardson (205) 554--4529