Infant and Child Car Seat Safety
It is very important to use the correct type of baby seat when you have an infant on board. Most people do not know how to install a baby car seat safely. Do you know that some hospitals won't discharge a mom and new baby until they see the car seat? Fortunately, many kinds of infant car seats exist in the market.
The easiest baby car seat to utilize is the kind that has a base that is buckled securely to the car seat. This car seat itself can be lifted off and carried around by the handle. This is will be convenient to you because the baby can be carried to and from the house or wherever the child is going while strapped into the seat. These infant seats usually will only be safe for transporting babies facing backward, until the age of one year. When the baby is 18 pounds, and at least one year old, it is time for a forward-facing baby car seat. Plus, by the time the baby is that old, and weighs 18 pounds, he will be too heavy to lug around that way! You will want to get the baby out of the baby car seat, and carry him, or he may even be walking by then!
The next kind of baby car seat is called a convertible car seat. Many of these baby car seats can be placed in the backward-facing position for when babies grow out of their infant seats, but are not yet old enough, or at a heavy enough weight to sit facing forward. Then, the convertible baby car seat can be turned to face forward, and will seat the baby until the baby is 40 pounds or more. These have a 5-point harness that is buckled at the bottom and the chest.
Once the baby reaches 40 pounds, he will move to a booster seat. This seat is a small base that keeps the child secure, while allowing him to use the regular seat belt. The child can usually sit in this type of car seat until he weighs 80 pounds!
As a rule of thumb, babies and children below the age of twelve are supposed to be seated behind, not in the front seat. The safest place is the center of the back seat. This is because studies show that air bags in the front seat may cause injuries to children. So if possible, never allow a child to be seated in front.
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