Wednesday, July 10, 2024

When Do You Change Baby Car Seat

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Car Seat 101: How to Convert Your Car Seat From Rear- to Forward-Facing

Just to make things that little bit more confusing, there are currently two regulations running along side each other which different car seats abide by. There is the group system and the i-Size system.

Lets look a little closer at the two regulations

group system.

The Group system regulation is categorised into groups depending on the weight of your child. This is how the categories are determined and act as the guide to when your child should move up to the next stage car seat. Each group has an upper weight limit, when your baby reaches this limit it is time to move them up to the next stage.

There are also age guides in each group, however we advise to only use these as a guide and focus more on the weight of your child. The size of your child is more important than his age. This is because some babies grow faster and gain weight more quickly than others of the same age. Girls and boys also grow at different rates.

The group categories are

Group 0+ – birth to 13kg

Group 1 9-18kg

Group 2 15-25kg

Group 3 22-36kg

Until recently, this was the only system for car seats in the UK and many seats are still sold under the group system. But, with the recent introduction of the i-Size regulations there are now two regulations running along side each other.

i-Size System

The I-Size categories are

First stage birth to 75cm

First & Second Stage birth to 105cm

But My Childs Convertible Car Seat Only Goes To 20 Or 22 Pounds Rear

Your car seat is confusing you! Really! All convertible seats on the market in the US have for many, many years allowed rear-facing until at least 30 pounds, with most going to 40 or more pounds rear-facing. However, the labels on the car seat confuse many families, leading them to think a child must be forward-facing starting at 22 lbs.

Why? Because our government requires manufacturers to include some exceptionally confusing wording on the labels of every convertible car seat . The sentence that confuses most people is Use only in a rear-facing position when using it with an infant weighing less than 20 lbs. What this sentence is trying to say, is that for kids who weigh less than 20 lbs. the only direction you are allowed to install this car seat is rear-facing i.e. a child under 20 pounds may never ride forward-facing in this car seat. However, many people confuse this to mean that after 20 pounds you must turn the car seat forward-facing which is NOT what it is trying to say.

In another sentence, likely very close to where you found the confusing one, youll see the rear-facing maximum weight for your convertible seat, likely 40 pounds or even higher.

When Is My Child Too Big For Rear

A child can be either too heavy, too tall, or bothbut all of this depends on the specifications of the car seat. Each car seat has its own height and weight limits for rear-facing children. Most convertible seats allow children to sit rear-facing up to 35, 40 or 50 pounds. The height limit for most rear-facing car seats is that there must be at least 1 inch of room between the top of the childs head and the top of the car seat. This inch ensures that as the child slides up the seat in a crash, his head will stay protected.

Given the design of most car seats, the majority of children become too tall for rear-facing seats before they become too heavy. Therefore, when you purchase a convertible car seat, try to select one that is taller in seated height.

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Are There Any Other Safety Tips

  • Many seat manufacturers have online video tutorials that can help.
  • Some local community resources offer car seat clinics. There may be someone who has been trained to help with installation or check that you have installed the car seat correctly.
  • If you use an infant carrier outside of a vehicle:
  • Always keep your child buckled.
  • Do not put the seat on a raised surface because it may fall.
  • Always take your baby out of the car seat when you arrive. A car seat is not a safe place to sleep.
  • It is not safe to use any add-on accessories that are not approved by the manufacturer, such as a bunting bag or head-restraint.
  • Never leave your child alone in the car.
  • Use memory aids to make sure a child is never unintentionally forgotten in the car. For example, place your phone or bag in the back seat to avoid a memory lapse.
  • Stage : Forward Facing Car Seats With Harnesses Until Age 5+


    When your child outgrows the rear-facing seat, use a forward-facing car seat with a harness and leash in the back seat until at least age 5. Remember to keep rear-facing until at least age two before turning forward. Use a car seat with a harness and leash until age 5, or until they reach the upper height and weight limits for the harness.

    Once your child reaches the weight or height limit of their rear-facing seat, they can move into a forward-facing seat. The harness straps in a forward-facing seat are designed, so the impact is taken where your childs body is strongest the shoulders and chest, and then directed down to the hips.

    Once children have grown out of their infant seat, they can move into a larger car seat like the one pictured at the top of this article. Many manufacturers now produce convertible seats, which allow your child to sit rear-facing for a longer time period, before turning forward later. .

    Check out our range of the best baby car seats for your baby.

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    What To Do With Your Old Car Seat

  • Pass it on. When your child gets too big for her car seat, give it to someone you know. Make sure the seat has all the original parts, labels and instructions. If the seat was in a crash or is missing parts, throw it away.
  • Expired or unsafe seats. If your car seat has expired or is unsafe, take it apart and put the pieces in separate dark trash bags to prevent someone else from using it.
  • Safety Standards For Child Car Seats: The Law

    By law, all child car seats used, bought or sold in Australia must meet Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1754. The Standards label should be on the packaging of new child car seats and on the car seat itself.

    If youre buying accessories for your child car seat like seatbelt modifiers, covers, inserts or padding always look for those with Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 8005.

    Its important that you use only accessories that come with the child car seat, or accessories approved for use with that particular car seat.

    You can check the safety performance of child car seats at Child Car Seats.

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    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.

    What About Off The Charts Big Kids

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    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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    One Of The Most Common Questions We Are Receiving Is: When Is The Right Time For My Child To Change To The Next Car Seat And This Is A Great And Very Important Question Different Regulations Focussing On Weight Height And Age And Can Make It Quite Confusing We Have Therefore Collected An Overview Of When To Change Car Seats For Your Child

    At BeSafe, we categorize the different child car seat stages in a childs life into three groups:

    3) Car seats for older children

    When choosing a seat for your newborn, there are two paths you can choose from: either to use an infant carrier from approx. 0-1 year, followed by a toddler seat until approx. 4 years or to use a 2-in-1 seat from 0 to approx. 4 years.

    When using such a 2-in-1 seat, it is only relevant in this article for you to know when to change to a seat for older children. When to remove the baby insert of your 2-in-1 seat is defined by the user manual of your seat.

    Child Safety Seat Registration Card

    Don’t forget to mail back the registration card. If you don’t, you will not be notified if the child safety seat is recalled or has other safety problems.

    If you moved since you mailed the card, make sure you call your child safety seat manufacturer to update your address.

    If you misplaced the registration card that came with your car seat, please and mail or fax it as instructed.

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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.

    Is My Car Seat Or Booster Seat Safe To Use

    How to make sure your childs car seat keeps them safe and ...
    • Check that your seat is approved for use in Canada. Look for the National Safety Mark on your car seat or booster seat:
    • Read the labels and instructions to make sure that your child is within the age, weight, and height limits for the seat.
    • Most manufacturers recommend that you replace a car seat that has been in a car crash, even a minor one. Contact your manufacturer if you are unsure.
    • If you do not know the history of the seat, it may no longer be safe to use. Make sure you have all the parts, including the instruction manual.
    • All car seats expire. Plastic and metal parts wear out over time. Contact the manufacturer if you are unsure when your seat expires.
    • Check Transport Canadas website to see if your seat has been recalled.
    • Register your childs seat with the manufacturer. They will contact you if there is a recall.

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    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.

    The Car Seat Is Expired

    Many caregivers don’t realize that car seats have expiration dates. The plastic used to make seats can degrade over time and become brittle, potentially making the seat less effective. In other words, if youre using a seat that previously belonged to an older sibling, it might be nearing its limit.

    To find the expiration date, check the seats label or the manufacturer instructions . If you’re still not sure, count from six years post the manufacturer date, the AAP says.

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    Infant And Convertible Car Seats: What’s The Difference

    Parents have the option of choosing between an infant and a convertible car seat when traveling with their baby. Both are safe options if your baby meets the car seat’s height and weight recommendations. You also have to make sure you know how to securely install the seat. It’s important to choose the seat that works best for your baby and your needs. Here are the key differences between infant and convertible car seats.

    Lower Anchor Weight Limits

    How to Install a Baby Car Seat

    Lower anchors have weight limits set by the vehicle and car seat manufacturers. You can determine the lower anchor weight limit by checking the warning label or installation diagrams located on the side of the car seat. If your car seat does not have a label, you can determine the maximum allowable child weight for lower anchor use by subtracting the weight of the car seat from 65 pounds.

    Lower anchor weight limit = 65 lbs weight of car seat

    Know the Facts

    Once your child outgrows the vehicle or car seat manufacturers established limits for the lower anchors, stop using the lower anchor attachments and reinstall the car seat using the vehicles seat belt.

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    Fitting A Child Car Seat

    You must only use a child car seat if your cars seat belt has a diagonal strap, unless the seat is either:

    • specifically designed for use with a lap seat belt
    • fitted using ISOFIX anchor points

    You must also:

    • deactivate any front airbags before fitting a rear-facing baby seat in a front seat
    • not fit a child car seat in side-facing seats

    The Child Car Seats website has information on how to choose a seat and travel safely with children in cars.

    Doing More Than The Minimum

    We spoke with Kidsafe to ask them if they think Australian laws are adequate or if we should be following our international neighbour’s leads and extending our rear facing laws.

    “It’s impossible to compare the laws and recommendations internationally because the child restraints are completely different,” Jason from Kidsafe Victoria said.

    “But we can say that the six-month age should be looked at as a guide, as a bare minimum, not as a hard and fast rule.”

    Kidsafe believe that parents should make a decision about extending rear facing based on what is right for their individual circumstances, but that all parents should be educated so that they make the safest decision.

    “Height is more important than age or weight when it comes to car restraints, ideally your child’s shoulders will sit in between the two shoulder markers on your restraint.”

    Kidsafe recommends keeping your child rear facing for as long as they fit in their rear facing restraint. They are hoping to spread awareness of their safety message by developing more materials that new parents can easily access.

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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.

    What Size Car Seat


    Car seats are divided into 3 main groups, depending on your baby or child’s age and weight:

    • group 0+ rear-facing car seats suitable for babies aged up to about 15 months or who weigh up to 13 kg some can be clipped on to a pushchair frame and are known as travel systems
    • group 1 forward-facing seats suitable for children who weigh 9-18kg or who are aged from about 9 months to 4 years
    • group 2/3 high-backed booster seats suitable for children who weigh 15-36kg or are aged from about 4 to 11 years

    You can also buy combination seats that cross over these groups, such as group 0+/1 seats, which are suitable from birth until your child weighs about 18kg or is aged about 4. These can be more economical, but may not offer the same level of protection.

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