Rear-facing or forward-facing? Booster seat or safety belt? If you have children, you know there are a lot of questions about how, exactly, to keep them safe in a car. Find the answers in our car seat guide:
Car seat guide: Which seat should I use?
If you’re not sure when to move your child to the next type of car seat, look to these stages:
Rear-facing safety seat: Children should stay rear-facing as long as possible, up to the limits of the car safety seat. This includes almost all children under 2.
Forward-facing safety seat, with harness: Many seats can take children up to 60 pounds or more. When they are ready and exceed the seat’s limits, move to a belt-positioning booster seat.
Belt-positioning booster seat: Use until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder safety belts fit properly—generally when children are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall and 8 to 12 years old.
Lap and shoulder belts: When children can use the vehicle safety belt without additional safety seating, they should always use lap and shoulder safety belts for optimal protection.
Front seat versus back seat: All children younger than 13 should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
One more thing: Check your state’s laws but keep in mind that state laws don’t always match best practices.