When Can A Baby Face Forward In A Car Seat
There are two categories of seats, those that are manufactured to the latest EU standard ECE R129, known as i-Size and are based on a child’s height and those manufactured under the EU standard ECE R44-04, these are weight-based.;
When height-based seats are used , the child must travel rear-facing until they reach the age of 15 months. In other words, they can face forward after 15 months.
When weight-based seats are selected , the child may travel rear-facing until reaching a weight of 13kgs. Thereafter, they can face-forwards.
However, we recommend the use of rear-facing car seats for as long as it is possible. Babies are not little adults. Rear-facing seats provide significant safety benefits to a child if involved in an accident.;
How long should a baby be in a rear-facing seat?
The law requires a baby to travel rear-facing until 15months. A child/toddler can travel in a rear-facing seat until they are 25kgs, approximately between 5 and 6 years old.
It is a proven fact, that children travelling rear-facing, are significantly safer than those travelling forward-facing. At the In Car Safety Centre, we would try to persuade you to have your children traveling rear-facing for as long as possible.;
Do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you have any more questions.
Car Seat Safety: Newborn To 2 Years
Babies are at greater risk of injury in crashes. This is because babies’ spines are developing and their heads are large for their bodies. In a crash, if your child is riding forward-facing, her spinal cord may stretch, which could result in serious injury or death. However, when your baby rides rear-facing in a child safety seat, her upper body head, neck and spine is cradled by the back of the child safety seat in the case of a frontal crash, which is the most common type of crash.
According to research studies, children up to 2 years of age who are placed in forward-facing child safety seats are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than same age children who are in rear-facing child safety seats. Watch the video to learn more about which car seats are appropriate for your baby and how to install them.
Lap And Shoulder Seat Belts
Most children are ready to use a lap and shoulder seat belt without a booster when they are about 49 tall.
Children are required by law to be secured in a child safety seat or seat belt until they are 15 years old.
For best protection, everyone in the car should be buckled up on every trip
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Using The Right Restraint To Save Kids’ Lives
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age four to 14. Keeping children safe on the road means putting them in the right restraint at the right age. Child Passenger Safety Technicians in Baltimore County are working to make sure parents and child care providers know and follow every one of the four Steps for Kids, including the essential booster seat step that is often missed.
Additionally, be sure to review the details of to make sure your child is correctly buckled up.
Securing your child in the right restraint for their age every time they ride in a motor vehicle is one of the most important things you can do to protect your child.
What About Off The Charts Big Kids
A 95th percentile child may look stronger than his 5th percentile friend, but in a crash the bigger child is MORE at risk if hes riding forward-facing. The rigidity of bones and the strength of ligaments in the spine is likely the same in children of the same age, no matter their size. And a 95th percentile baby likely has a much larger, heavier head, which will pull forward which much more force than that of a 5th percentile child.
Convertibles with high height and weight limits, enabling rear-facing for as long as possible
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Why Do Many Parents Move To Forward
Whats behind North American parents big rush to switch to forward-facing as soon as theyre legally allowed? In Canada, Crossfield estimates that about 50% of parents turn their kids forward-facing even before age two. But why?
For Canadian parents, one reason may be that many follow the guidelines set out by provincial and federal governments, and medical organizationswhich, says Crossfield, are woefully outdated. For example, the Canadian Paediatric Societys position on this issue is that rear-facing car seats should be used until children weigh at least 10 kg , and are at least one year of age and able to walk. Similarly, the Transport Canada website states that children who have outgrown their rear-facing seat and weigh at least 10 kg may ride facing the front in a child car seat. Crossfield notes that, in rare cases, this could mean a four-month-old baby could be legally facing forward.
Another reason parents are turning their kids too soon is because they lack a solid understanding of how collisions work. Their biggest fear is their kids legs breaking, says Crossfield. But they might not realize that the alternative is a broken spine or head injury.
Ontarios Highway Traffic Act
Ontarios Highway Traffic Act is the law which regulates vehicles use, from licensing to rules for driving and penalties. This act is revised as new developments come to light for better safety for all of Ontarios residents. For example, in 2019, the act was amended to change the height requirements on booster seats for children.
According to the law, drivers are responsible for passengers under the age of 16 and it is the driver who can be fined and ticketed if a child under that age is not properly seated and wearing a seat belt.
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Safety Tips For Child Passengers
Make sure your child is in the proper seat for her age, weight and height.
Have children ride in the backseat of the car until they are at least 13 years old.
Before installing a child safety seat, read the instructions and your owners manual.
Check that you have used the correct belt path for the seat belt or the lower anchors.
The car seat should be installed tightly. It should not move more than one inch from side-to-side or toward the front of the car.
Harness straps must be snug around your child. You should not be able to pinch any slack in the harness.
If the car seat has a plastic retainer clip, adjust it to be level with the armpits.
Replace any child safety seat that has cracks, missing pieces or worn straps, or that has reached the manufacturers expiration date.
What Car Seat Should My Child Be In
Car seats for infants and toddlers
From the moment you leave the hospital, your bundle of joy should be safely strapped into a rear-facing infant car seat with a five-point harness. A five-point harness has two straps that go over your childs shoulders and snap into a buckle around their waist. The five points are the two shoulders, two hips and in between the legs. Mount infant car seats in the backseat of your vehicle, facing the rear window.
Dr. Mudd recommends parents try to prepare for their first car ride home from the hospital by having the car seat installation checked by a local fire station or childrens hospital. Also be sure to read the car seat manual or try watching a YouTube video of how to use that specific car seat. Having the car seat set up correctly and ready to go ahead of time can reduce stress and help parents feel more confident about taking their little ones home for the first time.
Choose: Rear-facing-only car seats with a five-point harness or rear-facing convertible car seats with a five-point harness
When to switch to a forward-facing car seat: Its about weight and height, not age. Look at the height and weight limits on your infant car seat. Rear-facing-only seats typically range from 26 to 36 inches and 22 to 35 pounds.
Convertible car seats tend to have higher limits. Thats because you can eventually turn them around to be forward-facing when your childs ready, so they grow with your kid.
Car seats for toddlers and preschoolers
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Forward Facing Car Seat Age: When Can Babies Face Forward
What is the age a child can use a front-facing car seat? Well, in Australia that answer is both simple and confusing. Legally, your gorgeous, wonderful baby must be kept in an approved rear-facing seat until he or she is six months old, and from that point you can put them in a forward-facing seat, but you dont have to, and they can stay facing backwards if you prefer.
The question, really, is not just about car seat laws, its whether babies should start facing forwards from the age of six months, and whether their tiny little necks, in particular, are up to it .
Checking To Make Sure Your Forward
Try to install your child car seat as tightly as possible, to keep your child safer in a sudden stop or crash:
- Grab both sides of the child car seat where the seat belt or UAS belt is threaded through the child car seat
- Try to move the child car seat from side-to-side and front to back. It should not move more than 2.5 cm
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Baby Or Child Car Seat Fitting
- It is dangerous and illegal to carry a baby in a rear-facing baby seat in a front;passenger seat that has an active airbag. Forward-facing seats in the same position, while not illegal, are not ideal. It’s always safer for children to travel in the back of the car.
- Make sure the seat is fitted properly in the car, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Look out for safety days where experts demonstrate how to fit baby and child car seats safely. These often take place in supermarket or shopping mall car parks.
Choosing A Baby Car Seat
It’s recommended to buy a baby car seat before your baby is born if possible. It’s important to buy a seat that fits your car and is suitable for a newborn.
If you have your baby in hospital or a birth centre, you will need the car seat to drive your newborn home safely. It’s a good idea to practise fitting the seat before your baby is born.
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What About Booster Seats
Once a child has outgrown a forward-facing child restraint, they should use a booster seat with a lap-sash seat belt, until tall and old enough to fit properly into an adult seat belt.
Dr Rhodes says the gold standard is something called the five-step test;to help you determine when it’s the right time:
- Can the child sit with back and bottom against the vehicle seat back?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably before the edge of the vehicle seat?
- Is the lap belt sitting low across the hip bones touching the thighs?
- Does the sash belt sit across the middle of the shoulder, not on the neck or out near the arm?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
She said early transition out of a booster seat was the biggest area of concern, according to her team’s;research.
“If your child is over seven, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to travel safely without a booster seat,” she said.
“It’s much more likely they will need that seat for another three or four;years before their body is big enough for them to sit safely in a car without a booster seat.
“If a child is too small when they’re taken out of their child seat booster that seatbelt will sit across the child’s neck, and across their tummy.
“And when a crash happens, they get very serious forces through those areas and that can lead to more harm than protection.”
How Do I Install A Car Seat With A 5
- Place the car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Secure the car seat using the Universal Anchorage System or the vehicle seat belt, carefully following the vehicle manual and the car seat instructions.
- Make sure that the car seat is tightly secured to the vehicle and does not move more than 2.5 cm in any direction where it is attached to the car.
For a rear-facing seat:
- Install the seat at the reclined angle required by the car seat instructions. Check the instructions to see how you adjust the seat to get the correct angle.
- If you are using a seat with a handle, place it in the position required by the manufacturer.
For a forward-facing seat:
- Always use the top tether on a forward-facing car seat. A tether strap attaches the top of the car seat to a designated tether anchor for that vehicle seat.
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What Type Of Car Seat Should I Use
Rear-facing car seat:
- All infants must use a;rear-facing car seat. A rear-facing seat provides the best protection for your childs head, neck, and spine in a sudden stop or crash.;Once your baby outgrows the infant seat, use a larger, rear-facing seat. As long as your child still fits within the manufacturers weight and height limits, they are safest using a rear-facing seat until 2, 3, or even 4 years old.
Forward-facing car seat:
- Once your child has outgrown the larger rear-facing car seat and is;at least2 years old; they can move to a;forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness.;Keep your child in a 5-point harness until they weigh;at least;18 kg ;and can sit straight and tall without moving out of position or unbuckling. This may be at 4, 5, or even 6 years old.;If your child outgrows the seat before they can sit correctly, you may need a 5-point harness that will hold a taller, heavier child.
- When your child is;at least 18 kg and at least;4 years old, and has outgrown their forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness, they may be ready to move to a belt-positioning;booster seat.;To safely use a booster seat, your child must be able to sit correctly. Keep your child in a booster seat until they safely fit the adult seat belt. For most children, this will be between 9 and 12 years old.
If your child cannot sit like this for the whole trip without slouching, continue to use a booster seat.
Tips For Purchasing A Safety Seat
- Make sure your child is below the maximum weight and height limits for the child seat.
- Make sure the child seat fits your child and your vehicle and is easy for you to use. If possible, try it in your vehicle before purchasing or make sure it can be returned or exchanged if it does not fit.
- Check whether the model of child seat you are considering has ever been recalled.
- Avoid buying a used child seat. Never use a child seat that has been in a collision.
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To Secure Your Child In A 5
- For your;rear-facing child, make sure the harness straps are in the slot level;with;or just below;your childs shoulders.
- For your;forward-facing child, make sure the harness straps are in the slot level;with;or;just above;your childs shoulders.
- Tighten the harness straps. You should not be able to pinch the harness at the shoulder. The harness should be flat with no twists.
- Place the chest clip at armpit level.
- Bulky clothing or snowsuits should not be worn in the car seat. They can interfere with proper harness tightening and placement.
Tips For Buying A Baby Car Seat
- When buying a car seat, it’s best to try a few in your car before making a decision. Try to find a retailer who is willing to help you with this. Ask whether staff have been trained in fitting car seats.
- Check whether your car has Isofix connectors built into it. These are designed to make fitting baby and child car seats simpler. Most modern family cars have them. They may be hidden in the cracks between the padding of your car seats.
- Some car seat manufacturers have online guides showing which cars their seats will fit in. If your baby;is likely to travel;in another car regularly;;for example, with other family members;;check the car seat fits their car, too.
- Always choose a baby or child car seat that’s right for your child’s current height and weight;;see What size car seat?;for more.;
- Do not buy a secondhand;car seat. It could have been damaged in an accident, and may not have all its parts, including the instructions. It may also not be the safest and most user-friendly model, plus it may not fit your car properly.
- Only accept a car seat from friends or family if you know its history, it’s not too old and it comes with instructions.
- Think about how you will be using the car seat. If you’ll be lifting your baby in and out of the car a lot, for example, you may be better off getting a lightweight seat with a base that stays in the car.
- All car seats in this country should be EU approved. Look for the “E” mark label on the seat.
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