Car Seat Age Guide
The utmost responsibility of parents and guardians is to make sure their children’s world is as safe as possible so that their exploration is injury-free and fun. The safety of children can never be overstated; most children involved in accidents and auto crashes have little knowledge or do not even understand what danger really means. Often times you see women or parents driving with their little kids jumping around in the moving car or you see a nursing mother with her toddler on her laps while driving. There is an alarming increase in the number of car accidents involving children annually yet all what most parents do is sit back and watch.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the leading causes of death for children is car accidents. A great number of these incidents can be prevented, however, according to the CDC. The proper use of car seats for infants reduces the risk of death by 71% and by 54% for toddlers.'Proper use of car seats for infants reduces the risk of death by 71%'Click To Tweet
The use of booster seats for children aged 4-8, reduces the risk of serious injury by 45%, as compared with the use of a seat belt alone. In addition, the use of seat belts for older children reduces the risk of serious injury and death by 50%. It also noted that child restraints are often used improperly, citing one study that found that 72% of 3,500 observed car and booster seats were incorrectly used in such a way that they actually increased the risk of injury to a child.
Additionally, many parents think that they are using the correct car seat for their child but actually are not. There have been laws enforcing the use of car seats and restraints for children in almost all the states of the US and most countries of the world. This car seat age guide will help you make the right choice on your next purchase.
Child safety car seat often times called infant safety seat, restraint system, baby seat or car seat is a seat designed to protect children especially infants from fatal injury caused by minor or major auto crash. Car seats protect children from children from both frontal and side impact auto crashes. Early car seats were made to contain kids in the car as opposed to ensuring their safety when a crash occurs. Using a child safety seat or booster seat that is right for your child’s age and size prevents injuries and deaths caused by car crashes.
HOW TO CHOOSE CAR SEATS/RESTRAINTS BY AGE
As it has been established that car seats and restraints reduce the risk of death in children, infants, and toddlers by over 50% you might want to know the different types of car seats that would suit your children. These seats are often classified based on the age and weight of the child.
Age Group: Infant and toddlers (below two years)
Weight: Between 10kg to 15kg
Information: Rear-facing car seats are portal easy to carry seats made for infants that between 10kg to 15kg. Some may consider rear facing as absurd, but it is the 100% safer than facing forward. Most children are prone to head and spinal cord injuries because their bones are still tender. Rear-facing car seats serve as a protection to your baby’s neck saving them from injuries. Your children should remain on rear facing for as long as possible.
Pros of rear facing
- They protect the infant child from minor or major head and spine injuries
- Reduce body injuries that result from hitting into different surfaces
- Creates a cyst or protective cover for the baby in case of emergency
- Durable and portable most of these rear-facing seats can last until when the baby is four.
- It evenly distributes force impact around the baby’s back.
- Their neck, spine and internal organs are not subjected to the stress of the force and are much more protected.
Age Group: Toddlers, Preschoolers, School Age (9 months – 12 years),
Weight: 9kg – 36kg
Now your child is a big baby, it has outgrown the rear-facing car seats, but your protection does not stop there! Even as the kid might be grown, forward facing is still an option to protect your child injuring after an auto crash. A car with forward facing seats is ideal for grown older children with stronger back and neck muscles. It is typical for children who have outgrown the rear-facing seats in both weight and height. It is recommended to us an internal harness to keep the child in the seat if there is a crash. It is also important to follow your car manufacturer’s guidelines when installing them.
Pros of forward facing
Forward-facing car seats are mostly ideal for children above 2 years. Children using forward-facing car seats are safer. It also protects their back and spine even if they are matured.
Age Group: School-Aged Children (8 years to 12 years)
Once your child’s weight and height has exceeded the size of the forward facing car seat, do not be in a hurry to put your child on seat belts yet! According to Partners for Child Passenger Safety, more than 90% of 4 to 8-year-old children who sustained minor or major injuries in vehicle crash were not restrained in a booster car seat. Adult seat belts can cause more injury when children use them without a booster seat.
Kids that are old and large enough to fit into car seat belts can now hoop on. Even as they are now big, it is advisable to put children on the back seat to save them from the airbag.
- Never allow infants and children below the weight of 90 pounds to ride in the front seat the backseat is the safest place. Keep your children far away from the front seat especially when your car has an active airbag system.
- Buy the right car seat according to your kid size.
- You might trust your older children but ensure their belts are fixed properly also.
- Do not use damaged car seats or those that have been involved in accidents.
- Ensure the metal parts of the belts and harnesses are not hot especially during hot seasons.
- Check age guide before using any car seat for your kid
- Most importantly, never leave your child in the car alone even when they are in a car seat.
- Always read and check the car seat manufacturer’s installation guide and vehicle owner’s manual for relevant information about the maximum weight and height
- Ensure that the harness is snug, in place and in the right direction and the car seat is held property with a LATCH system or seat belt.
- Never allow kids in the front seat of a car even in a rear-facing car seat.
- Move the front car seats forward so there is enough space to place the rear-facing car seat.
- Ensure the straps and seat belts are not too tight on your child’s body to avoid suffocation.
- You should personally buckle up your child
- Children between 8-12 years might need booster seats for optimal safety.
- In rare cases where your vehicle has rear airbags, ask for help from professionals in deactivating it.
- Bend your child’s knees over the front of the seat for comfort.
- Always check the car and car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for proper information on the installation and use.
- Most car seats have an expiration date, so when transferring car seats from older child to the younger ones ensure to check for expiration dates and ensure the straps and harnesses are not damaged.
Advantages of purchasing a car seat
Perhaps you are yet questioning about paying little heed to whether to purchase a car seat here are some reasons:
It is required by law
Law does not only enforce a car seat, it is likewise expected to protect your child in case of an auto crash or accident. There are strong laws enforcing the use of car seat in the US, UK and most countries of the world.
Car seats are not only useful in case of vehicle accidents, they can also be used to carry your infant child around since it is dangerous to leave a child in the car alone.
Car seats are cheap and affordable. Most car seats are budget friendly contain almost all baby gears
Based on the reports, a car accident is one of the major causes of death in children worldwide. Using car seats for your vehicle has proven for decades now to be effective in averting injuries or death that occurs during an auto crash. The bones and muscles of children are naturally not as strong. Their skeletons are made of temporary cartilages making them vulnerable and fragile to crashes. Much of a baby’s skeleton is made of soft cartilage that will eventually turn into bone.
Get a car seat that suits your car type and your baby today!