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Child Safety Seats

In 1994, 673 children under age five died while riding in motor vehicles; despite laws in all 50 states requiring car safety seats or restraint devices for children, over half were unrestrained, and many more were restrained improperly.

Safe and sound in a child safety seat This information highlights examples of safety precautions you can consider to protect yourself, your family, and your property. This list is not meant to be all-encompassing. Moreover, a particular precaution may not be effective or appropriate in all circumstances. We encourage you to use your own good judgement about what's appropriate.

Car seat definitions:

Infant Seat
Designed for newborn babies, the infant car seat is small and portable. However, the infant seat must be replaced by a convertible seat when a baby outgrows the seat, usually within the first year of life.

Convertible Seat
Child safety seats that could be used both rear-facing for infants and forward-facing for toddlers.

Rear-Facing Safety Seat
Any child safety seat designed to face the back of the vehicle when properly restrained e.g. infant seats are always rear-facing.

Booster Seats
Designed for children who have outgrown convertible seats.

Integrated Safety Seat
Any child safety seat that is built-in to a vehicle.

Choose wisely
Young children should be restrained in appropriate age/size safety seats. The American Academy of Pediatrics makes the following recommendations.

 Infants should ride in rear-facing child safety seats until they are at least 20 pounds and 1 year old to reduce the risk of cervical spine injury in the event of a crash. Rear-facing car safety seats must never be placed in the front passenger seat of any vehicle that has a passenger side front airbag.

 Before age one, infants who weigh 20 pounds or more should ride rear-facing in a convertible seat or infant seat approved for higher weights.

 Integrated child safety seats can be used for children who weigh at least 20 pounds and are at least 1 year old.

 A convertible car safety seat should be used as long as the child's ears are below the top of the back of the seat and the shoulders are below the seat strap slots.

 A booster seat should be used when the child has outgrown a convertible car safety seat but is too small to fit properly in a vehicle safety belt.

 The rear seat is the safest position for children of any age to ride. Whenever possible, an adult should sit next to a baby in the rear seat to observe the child during travel.

Using a car seat correctly makes a big difference. Even the "safest" seat may not protect your child if it is not the right size for the child or if it is not properly hooked into the vehicle. In just 60 seconds, you can determine if you child's safety seat is safe by using Deerbrook's One Minute Car Safety Seat Check-Up

Related links:
  Child Safety Seat Checkup
  Passenger Safety
  In Case of an Accident
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