Automobile seats and boosters provide protection for infants and children in a crash, yet auto crashes are a leading crusade of death for children ages 1 to 13. That’south why it’due south so important to choose and employ the right car seat correctly every fourth dimension your child is in the car. Follow these important steps to choose the right seat, install it correctly and proceed your child safe.
Children under 5 saved by car seats in ane year
Children killed in machine crashes in 2022 who were unrestrained
of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly
Don’t recollect you lot know. Know you know.
Discover the Correct Car Seat for Your Child
Don’t recollect you lot know. Know you know.
Find The Right Auto Seat
Follow these steps to help you through the process of finding the right motorcar seat, installing it correctly, and keeping your child safe.
Notice the right car seat
- Larn about the four car seat types
- Follow NHTSA’s motorcar seat recommendations based on your child’s historic period and size
- Notice and compare car seats and ease-of-employ-ratings using NHTSA’southward Car Seat Finder
Install your car seat correctly
- Sympathize the parts and tips used for installation
- Follow our detailed machine seat installation instructions and videos
- Go your car seat inspected at a station nearest yous
Proceed your child safe in a car seat
- Register your car seat and sign upwards for retrieve notices to receive safe updates
Car Seat Safety Tips
How to Choose the Right Seat
Observe The Right Auto Seat
Car Seat Types
Larn about the iv types of auto seats, while keeping in mind the following tips:
- Every bit children abound, how they sit down in your machine volition modify. Brand sure you employ a car seat that fits your kid’s current size and historic period.
- Not all machine seats fit in all vehicles. Make certain the auto seat is the correct fit for your vehicle (PDF, one.77 MB). Test the machine seat you program to purchase to brand sure information technology fits well in your vehicle.
- Buy a car seat that can be installed and used correctly every fourth dimension.
Rear-Facing Auto Seat
The all-time seat for your young child to apply. It has a harness and, in a crash, cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’due south frail neck and spinal cord.
Infant Car Seat (Rear-Facing simply):
Designed for newborns and small babies, the infant-only automobile seat is a minor, portable seat that can merely be used rear-facing. Most babies outgrow their infant seats earlier their first birthday. When that happens, we recommend that parents buy a convertible or all-in-one car seat and apply it rear-facing.
As a child grows, this seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forrad-facing seat with a harness and tether. Because it can exist used with children of various sizes, it allows for children to stay in the rear-facing position longer.
This seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat (with a harness and tether) and to a booster seat as a kid grows. Considering it can be used with children of various sizes, it allows for children to stay in the rear-facing position longer.
Forward-Facing Machine Seat
Has a harness and tether that limits your child’s forward motion during a crash.
As a child grows, this seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether.
As a child grows, this seat transitions from a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether into a booster.
This seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat (with a harness and tether) and to a booster seat as a child grows.
Raises and positions a child and then the vehicle’s lap-and-shoulder chugalug fits properly over the stronger points of a kid’s trunk, the hips and across the breast.
Booster Seat With High Back:
This type of booster seat is designed to boost the child’southward height then the seat belt fits properly. Information technology also provides neck and caput back up and is ideal for vehicles that don’t accept head rests or high seat backs.
Backless Booster Seat:
A backless booster seat is designed to heave the child’s height so the seat belt fits properly. It does not provide head and neck support. It is ideal for vehicles that have head rests.
Every bit a child grows, this seat transitions from a forward-facing seat with a harness into a booster.
This seat tin change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat (with a harness and tether) and to a booster seat as a kid grows.
Should lie beyond the upper thighs and exist snug across the shoulder and breast to restrain your kid safely in a crash. Information technology should not rest on the tummy area or across the cervix or face.
Notice The Right Car Seat
Car Seat Recommendations
There are many car seat choices on the market place. Use the information below to assistance you choose the type of auto seat that best meets your kid’s needs or print out NHTSA’due south car seat recommendations for children (PDF, 370 KB).
- Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and then choose a seat that fits in your vehicle, and use information technology every time.
- Ever refer to your specific automobile seat manufacturer’south instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle possessor’southward manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if bachelor.
- To maximize safety, go along your kid in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the kid fits within the manufacturer’southward pinnacle and weight requirements.
- Go along your child in the back seat at to the lowest degree through age 12.
Recommended car seats based on your child’s age and size
Rear-Facing Car Seat
Your kid under age ane should ever ride in a rear-facing auto seat. There are different types of rear-facing machine seats:
- Infant-only seats can only exist used rear-facing.
- Convertible and all-in-1 car seats typically have college height and weight limits for the rear-facing position, allowing you to keep your kid rear-facing for a longer period of time.
ane – 3 Years
Keep your kid rear-facing every bit long equally possible. It’s the best manner to continue him or her prophylactic. Your child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until he or she reaches the meridian superlative or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat, your kid is ready to travel in a forrard-facing automobile seat with a harness and tether.
Forward-Facing Auto Seat
1 – 3 Years
Continue your kid rear-facing as long as possible. It’s the best fashion to continue him or her prophylactic. Your kid should remain in a rear-facing machine seat until he or she reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the rear-facing machine seat, your kid is ready to travel in a forward-facing motorcar seat with a harness and tether.
4 – 7 Years
Keep your kid in a forward-facing automobile seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the acme height or weight limit allowed by your automobile seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forrad-facing car seat with a harness, information technology’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
4 – 7 Years
Keep your kid in a forwards-facing motorcar seat with a harness and tether until he or she reaches the summit height or weight limit allowed by your car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing machine seat with a harness, it’s time to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat.
viii – 12 Years
Keep your child in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat chugalug properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap chugalug must lie snugly beyond the upper thighs, not the tum. The shoulder chugalug should lie snugly beyond the shoulder and breast and not cross the neck or face. Remember: your kid should still ride in the back seat because it’s safer at that place.
8 – 12 Years
Proceed your kid in a booster seat until he or she is big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the breadbasket. The shoulder belt should lie snugly across the shoulder and chest and non cantankerous the neck or face up. Think: your child should however ride in the dorsum seat considering information technology’south safer there.
Detect The Correct Car Seat
Find & Compare Seats
Search car seats by brand proper noun and model
Find car seats for your child past brand, or look up the details of a specific car seat model.
Ease-of-Utilize Ratings Explained
The Car Seat Finder is an easy-to-utilize tool that lets you compare seats and ease-of-employ ratings to find the right car seat for your child. Just fill out your child’s age, summit and weight higher up, and you’ll exist provided car seat types that fit your child. Before you become started, make sure you’re familiar with the 4 types of car seats and NHTSA’s recommendations for choosing the correct type of seat for your child.
Car Seat Installation Parts and Tips
Car Seat Installation Tips
Your child’s safety could be in jeopardy if your automobile seat is not installed correctly. Before you install your car seat, make sure y’all’re familiar with vehicle and car seat parts used in the installation process and these important installation safety tips.
Vehicle and Car Seat Parts Explained
Every car seat needs to be installed using either the lower anchors
a seat chugalug to secure it in place, never both. If you lot cull to use a seat belt to install your auto seat, pay close attention to how to “lock” your seat belt according to the vehicle’southward owner transmission. With a forward-facing car seat, use a tether if one is bachelor. Before installing your automobile seat make sure you lot empathize the function and location of the vehicle and car seat parts that are used in installation.
Auto Seat Glossary
Used for installing a automobile seat using its lower anchor attachments
The lower anchors are institute in a minimum of two rear seating positions in a vehicle. Each lower-anchor-equipped seating position has 2 pocket-size horizontal bars establish in the infinite between the vehicle seat’due south back and lesser absorber (the “seat bight”).
Used for attaching a car seat’s tether to the vehicle
Typically there are a minimum of three tether anchors in a vehicle. In sedans, these are usually located above/behind the vehicle’south back seat on the rear shelf. In some larger vehicles such as vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs, these tether anchors may be institute on the back of a vehicle seat, on the flooring, the ceiling, or other location.
To avoid confusing tether anchors with other hardware such as luggage tie-downs, be sure to read your vehicle’s owner manual carefully to detect out where they are located in your particular vehicle.
Car Seat Parts
Attach meridian tether from the car seat to the tether anchor in the vehicle.
Spike lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors in the vehicle.
Lower Anchor Attachments
Used to install the machine seat in a vehicle with lower anchors
Used to secure a forrad-facing car seat and limit frontward head move in a crash
The tether is located on the top rear of convertible, combination, and all-in-ane car seats. It’southward adjustable and has a hook and strap that connects to 1 of your vehicle’s tether anchors. Most rear-facing machine seats in the U.s.a. practice non utilize a tether for installation. However, installations vary from model to model, and so y’all must review your particular car seat’south instructions and your vehicle’south owner manual advisedly.
Follow your auto seat manufacturer’s instructions regarding when and how to utilize the tether for your particular seat. NHTSA recommends always using a tether with a forward-facing car seat—installed with your vehicle’s seat belt OR the lower anchors—as long as it is permitted by both the car seat and vehicle manufacturers. Of import: Both installation methods are designed to work with the tether to attain the highest level of condom for child passengers restrained in forward-facing car seats.
Lower Anchor Weight Limits
Lower anchors have weight limits set by the vehicle and car seat manufacturers. Yous can determine the lower anchor weight limit by checking the alarm label or installation diagrams located on the side of the car seat. If your auto seat does not have a label, you can determine the maximum commanded child weight for lower anchor use by subtracting the weight of the auto seat (normally bachelor in the car seat’southward instruction transmission) from 65 pounds.
Lower anchor weight limit = 65 lbs – weight of machine seat
Know the Facts
In one case your child outgrows the vehicle or car seat manufacturer’south established limits for the lower anchors, end using the lower ballast attachments and reinstall the automobile seat using the vehicle’south seat chugalug.
Car Seat Installation Instructions
Once you’ve become familiar with vehicle and automobile seat parts used for installation and NHTSA’s tips to install your car seat, you’re gear up to follow these detailed car seat installation instructions and videos past type.
Car Seat Inspection
Get your car seat inspected
Whether you lot’ve but installed a car seat or demand help installing or using one, get assist at a car seat inspection station about you lot. Certified technicians will audit your car seat free of charge, in nigh cases, and prove yous how to correctly install and utilise it. Some locations now offer virtual inspections.
Can’t find an inspection station near you? You may be able to find a tech through Safe Kids Worldwide.
Register Your Machine Seat
Congratulations—you chose the correct car seat and installed it correctly. Now it’south time to register your car seat with the manufacturer to receive recalls and safety notices so your child can remain prophylactic. Too, you can sign up with NHTSA to receive electronic mail alerts about car seat and booster seat recalls.
Register your car seat to receive important safety updates
Registering your seat makes sense: It gives the manufacturer the ability to contact you near recalls and safety notices. It’due south also like shooting fish in a barrel: Just transport in the menu that came with your car seat or fill out a simple form on the manufacturer’s website.
Your child’s safety could depend on information technology.
Transport registration information to NHTSA
If you would like NHTSA to provide your child restraint registration information to the manufacturer, delight fill out this Registration Form and postal service it to the address below. You may likewise e-mail or fax information technology if y’all choose.
U. S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safe Administration
Office of Defects Investigation
Correspondence Research Segmentation (NVS-216)
1200 New Bailiwick of jersey Avenue SE.
Washington, DC 20590
Get Auto Seat Recall Notices
In add-on to registering your car seat to receive recalls and prophylactic notices from your auto seat manufacturer, you tin sign upwards to receive e-postal service alerts from NHTSA almost auto seat and booster seat recalls to make sure your kid remains prophylactic.
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