Use a rear-facing child safety seat
- From birth to at least 20 pounds and at least one year of age
- The harness straps should be at or below shoulder level
- For babies who are under one year and over 20 pounds, be sure they ride in a safety seat approved for heavier babies and continue to ride rear-facing until at least one year of age
Use a forward-facing seat
- If a child is at least 20 pounds and at least one year old to about 40 pounds and about age four
- The harness straps should be at or above shoulder level
- Most convertible, forward-facing seats require use of the top slot for forward-facing seats
Use a booster seat
- If the child is over 40 pounds up to 80 pounds and under four feet, nine inches tall
- Belt- positioning booster seats must be used with both lap and shoulder belts
- Never use a booster seat with a lap belt only
- Make sure the lap belt fits low and tight to avoid abdominal injuries
Buckle up a child in an adult seat belt
- If a child is over 80 pounds and at least four feet, nine inches tall
- If a child can sit with their back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion, with their knees bent over the vehicle’s seat edge without slouching, they can be moved out of the booster seat into the regular back seat
- All children age 12 and under should sit properly restrained in the back seat
Always read carefully both the vehicles owner’s manual and the instruction that come with the child safety seat.
Never use old or used child safety seats unless you are certain they have never been in a crash. If you are reusing a seat, make sure it is less than six years old, make sure you have all the pieces (including instruction) and make sure the seat has been checked for recalls.
Never place a child in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with an air bag.
Have your child safety seats inspected by a certified child safety seat technician. To find an inspection location or a certified child passenger safety technician near you, visitwww.nhtsa.dot.gov and click on the “Child Safety Seat Inspections” link. Or you may call 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).