Car Seat Safety for Each Age Group

boy in booster seat

Few car accessories are more important than a child’s booster seat. But how do you select the right one for you and your child’s needs? The car seat safety[1] below can help you determine the best option for your child based on his or her age.

Age Group Age Weight Type of Seat
Infants & toddlers Up to 2 years old 22 – 35 pounds Rear-facing car seat[1]
Toddlers & Preschoolers 2 – 4 years old Up to highest weight allowed by product manufacturer (can be up to 65 pounds) Forward-facing car seat with a harness or a forward-facing convertible[1]
School-Aged Children 8 – 12 years old Above 65 pounds, weight exceeds forward-facing limit Booster seat[1]
Older Children 12 years old and up Able for a seatbelt to fit properly Seatbelt[1]

All manufacturers are required to meet the same safety regulations, so regardless of how much you spend, you can rest assured that each seat was tested against the same standards. More expensive models, however, may include additional convenience features, easier installation and longer expiration dates.

It is important to know that you should never use a car seat that is more than six years old[2], has been involved in an accident, is missing parts or is not labeled with a manufacture date and model number. If you are given a secondhand car seat, be sure to also have the instruction manual so you know how to set it up properly, as well as find out if there have been any recalls.

 

[1] https://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/on-the-go/Pages/Car-Safety-Seats-Information-for-Families.aspx

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/cars/yes-car-seats-expire-and-heres-why/2017/02/23/608ce07c-fa05-11e6-aa1e-5f735ee31334_story.html