Q What Happens If My Baby Falls Asleep In The Car Seat
I doubt there are many parents out there who havent at one time or another taken their child for a ride in their car seat for the sole purpose of trying to coax them into falling asleep. However, car seats are designed for travel, not for prolonged sleep, and should be used only under supervision of a parent or caregiver, Pelky shares. There is low risk for children who are properly buckled who fall asleep in their car seat in the vehicle or a matching travel stroller designed for the car seat, because these devices keep the child positioned at the proper recline angle.
However, she says, if the harness straps are loosened or the car seat is placed on another surface the childs position and angle may change and cause respiratory issues.
Although it may be tempting to avoid anything that might wake the baby, upon reaching their destination, be sure to move your sleeping child from the car seat to a safe sleep space where theyll be on their back, on a flat surface designed for infant sleep.
Why Are Car Seats Important
Using a car seat, also called a child safety seat, is the best way to protect your kids when they’re in a car. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury for children. Because car seats save lives, using a car seat is the law in every U.S. state.
But keeping your child safe depends on choosing the right safety seat and using it correctly. The best car seat is the one that fits your child’s weight, size, and age, as well as your vehicle.
Here are some things to know so you can pick a seat that’s right for your child:
Babies start out in infant-only seats or convertible seats. As they grow, kids switch to forward-facing seats before moving to a booster seat. Here’s a rundown of which seat to use when.
How We Selected The Best Forward
We researched the top-selling and top-reviewed convertible car seats, all-in-one car seats, and booster seats on the market, comparing safety ratings from agencies and competitors, as well as customer ratings to come up with this list. After consulting with Alisa Baer, MD, pediatrician and co-founder of The Car Seat Lady, LLC, we also looked at the key safety features, weight limits, and installation methods to narrow down our choices to bring you the best options for forward-facing car seats and boosters.
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Should Carseat Be On Passenger Or Driver Side
For ease of access and keeping an eye on a baby, the most common spot for a babys car seat is the rear passenger side. But the study showed that children under age 3 seated in the center of the back seat had nearly half the risk of injury in motor vehicle crashes than children seated in either of the other positions.
Common Things You Should Know About Forward Facing Car Seat
If you are using a rear facing car seat and thinking about making a switch, it is necessary to know everything beforehand. Even though they provide the same purpose, safety, and comfort for your child, they are both still quite distinctive from one another.
You need to know the appropriate and reliable information about forward facing car seats so it can be easier for you and your child. It is important to make a switch as your child grows.
But one of the greatest things about forward facing car seat is that I must say is that your child can use it for many years due to its long lifespan, which you can learn in further detail in this article.
So lets start!
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Q When Can A Baby Face Forward In A Car Seat
According to the AAP, theres no age limit on when kids should start to face forward in a car seat. Its actually about size, not about age . A baby or child can face forward in a car seat once they have surpassed the weight and height limits of their car seat, according to the manufacturers instructions.
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Front Facing Car Seat Age Guide
- Front Facing Car Seat Age Guide – October 29, 2022
State laws only specify the minimum requirements a child must meet to ride in the forward-facing position. From a legal standpoint, parents in most states can start using front-facing car seats after their childs first birthday.
Safety recommendations issued by the American Association of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggest that toddlers under three should remain in rear-facing seats until they outgrow their height and weight limits.
Statistics show that toddlers and preschoolers are less likely to sustain head or spine injuries when riding in a rear-facing position. The discrepancy between the car seat laws and the best safety practices makes choosing the right moment to switch to the forward-facing position difficult.
In this front-facing car seat age guide, Ill supply the facts that will help you move safely from an infant car seat to a front-facing model.
|30 to 49 inches|
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Why Is Keeping Them Rear Facing Important
While the child is rear facing their whole back, neck and head are being supported by the seat in the event of a crash. When turned forward facing, the child is restrained by the harness strap and they lose the neck and head support. This increases their risk of spinal and neck injury from the still heavy head being thrown forward in a crash.
Getting parents to delay the transition to a forward-facing seat still represents an opportunity to improve passenger safety in the U.S., says lead author Michelle L. Macy, M.D., M.S., of the University of Michigans C.S. Mott Childrens Hospital.
Car crashes are still a leading cause of death among children younger than 4 years old and is the leading cause of death among older children. This is often in part because children are unrestrained or not using the restraint recommended for their age and size.
There are lots of reasons why parents are eager to change from the rear-facing to forward-facing seat: the perception their children are too large, the desire to see their children when driving, and a greater ease of removing their children from a forward facing seat, says Macy. But delaying the switch can make a big difference. In Sweden it is culturally accepted that children up to age 4 are in rear-facing seats and child traffic fatalities are among the lowest in the world.
Read more about keeping children in a rear-facing seat:
Arent Rear Car Accidents Just As Bad
Statistically, rear impacts account for around 25 percent of all accidents. When they do happen, they usually have less serious injuries compared to frontal or side crashes .
Rear car accidents dont usually carry as much force given that both cars are usually moving in the same direction. This means that the impact wont be as strong as other types of accidents. Besides, rear-facing car seats are designed to absorb the impact.
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What Are The Laws On Rear
States set their own safety-seat laws for children, specifying minimum age, height, and weight requirements.
Some states , require children younger than 1 or less than 20 pounds to be in rear-facing child restraints, and others specify that children younger than 2 and less than 40 pounds and 40 inches must be in a rear-facing infant seat. And some states only require that children of a certain age ride in a car seat.
State laws are often minimum standards, not ideal safety standards. Some of them don’t line up with best practices. If your state law says your child only needs to be in a rear-facing car seat until their first birthday, for example, stick with what safety experts and pediatricians recommend.
Find out what your state requires and what the fines are for violation on the Safe Ride 4 Kids website.
When Should You Change Car Seats
Nobody wants to think about an accident. But in the event of the unthinkable, car seats are vital for keeping babies and children safe.
In 2017, restraint use saved the lives of 325 children aged 4 and under, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . So its crucial to make sure your backseat rider is in the right seat for her size, and that the seat is in tip-top shape.
So when should you make the move from one seat to the next, and what other car seat change-up scenarios should you be keeping in mind? If any of the following apply to your childs car seat, its time for an upgrade or replacement.
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When Can My Baby Go Forward
Once your child has outgrown the larger rear-facing car seat and is at least 2 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.
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Which Type Of Baby Car Seat Will Work Best For You
It all comes down to which types of features are most important. For some parents, they may be looking mainly at convenience and choose a model that has only two stages.
However, others may want something different than just rear-facing or front-facing mode so look into ones that have three functions including a high back booster and no back booster options as well.
No matter which model you end up choosing though, make sure to read over the fine print for its weight limits in each stage.
If you want something different than just rear-facing or front-facing mode, then look for one with three modes including a high back booster and no back booster options. They all claim they meet federal safety standards equally well so read carefully through their fine prints about what types of weights are allowed at each stage!
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Safely Using A Forward
Each forward-facing child safety seat has its own instructions for safe use. Read, follow, and save this information. On newer car seats, this information is printed on the seat.
Follow these general guidelines for safely using a front-facing car seat:
- Look at your cars owner manual for information on using a car seat with your vehicle.
- Secure toddler car seats tightly on the seat using a seatbelt system or the LATCH locking system built into newer cars.
- Both front and rear-facing car seats should be used in the rear seat of the vehicle. Only use a front-facing car seat on the front seat if you have no other choice.
- Do not use any type of car seat in a position with an active airbag.
- Many parents use a front-facing car seat mirror to see their child in the back seat more safely.
- Do not use a damaged or outdated car seat or one you do not know how to use correctly.
- Use a car seat starting with your babys first ride home from the hospital.
Rear and front-facing child car seats save childrens lives. Use one every time you travel with a child.
What Is A Convertible Car Seat
A convertible car seat is also known as an all-in-one car seat, which can safely transport your child from birth through kindergarten or even longer. Convertible car seats start out as rear-facing seats when your child is an infant and can flip to forward-facing when they get taller and heavier.
This type of car seat attaches to your car using either a seat belt restraint system or the LATCH system built into the car . Because they dont click into a base, convertible car seats arent as easily portable as infant car seats, and cant connect to a compatible stroller. If you need to regularly move your babys car seat between cars, they may not be the best option , but they are a good bet if you just want one car seat that will grow with your child.
However, if youre opting for a convertible car seat for your newborn or infant, be sure that they meet that specific car seats minimum requirements for height and weight, which should be listed on the manufacturers website. Some convertible seats are intended only for toddler use.
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Infant And Convertible Car Seats: Whats 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 seats height and weight recommendations. You also have to make sure you know how to securely install the seat. Its 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.
Car Seat Safety By Age
As your child ages, car seat safety requirements change, too, which is why its important to use the right type of car seat the right way every time your child rides in the car. Heres a breakdown of car seat safety requirements for each age range, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
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When Is It Time For A Forward
You put a lot of thought into your newborns rear-facing car seat. It was a key item on your baby registry and how you got your little one safely home from the hospital.
Now that your baby isnt such a baby anymore though, youre starting to wonder if its time for a forward-facing car seat. Perhaps your little one has already reached the weight and height limit for their rear-facing seat and youre wondering whats next.
Or maybe theyre not at the size limits just yet, but you think enough time has passed and youd like to know if you can flip them around to face forward.
Whatever your situation, weve got you covered with info on when its recommended to use a forward-facing car seat as well as some tips to make sure that youre getting it installed properly.
Wont Their Legs Be Uncomfortable
The thing is, you may imagine your childs legs are squished in a rear-facing position. However, children are flexible, and this is the safest position for their legs. If your car crashes, forward-facing kids are at a much greater risk all around.
If they complain about the leg room, take a break and let them stretch. They may also enjoy crossing their legs or hanging them over the sides.
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The Car Crash Detective
Ive written before about the importance of keeping young children rear-facing as long as possible, but am always keen to write more on the topic. Its why the only car seats I recommend and review are those with the highest rear-facing and forward-facing limits currently available in the United States. The Frontier G1.1, pictured above, is the best forward-facing and booster seat you can buy today.
However, another area where most parents arent following best practices involves the transition from forward-facing children in 5-point harnesses to using booster seats. When should this be done? When is too early? What makes it too early? This post is designed to answer these kinds of questions and to serve as a reference to be shared.
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.
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Register Your Car Seat
Congratulationsyou chose the right car seat and installed it correctly. Now its time to register your car seat with the manufacturer to receive recalls and safety notices so your child can remain safe. Also, you can sign up with NHTSA to receive e-mail alerts about car seat and booster seat recalls.
What Are The Car Seat Rules For Rear
You want your child to be happy, comfortable and safe when you travel in the car. We explain everything you need to know about the rear-facing car seat law and forward-facing car seat law so you’ll get it right.
Forward-facing car seat age
Many parents want to know the right age for a forward-facing car seat, but this is not as straightforward as it may seem. Legally, your child can travel in an ECE R44/04 approved car seat facing forward once they are 9 kg, which is approximately age nine months. But don’t be tempted to rush into making the switch. There are lots of good reasons why many parents choose to increase the age before facing their baby forward in a car seat.
Why is rearward-facing travel safest for babies and young children?
Children travelling forward-facing can be thrown forwards in a head-on collision. That puts stress on the fragile head and neck, which can lead to serious injury.
If your child is travelling rear-facing, the car seat spreads the forces across the whole back, protecting the delicate head and neck. As 70% of accidents are frontal collisions, it’s safest for children to travel rearward-facing until their muscles and bones have properly developed.
What is the i-Size rear-facing car seat law?
i-Size car seats meet the highest level safety standards. If you have chosen an i-Size car seat, your child must travel facing the rear until they are 15 months old by law.
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