What Child Safety Seat Should I Use?

Mother securing her baby in the car seat in her car

The kids are all packed and ready to go, but is the car properly prepared for a family-friendly journey? Many new parents wonder, “What child safety seat should I use?” to keep the little ones protected on the go. The answer depends on the age of your child. From rear-facing seats for toddler to booster seats for children, we’ve created a guide to help you navigate the different options for every age group. Read on for more information and if you need any extra help, feel free to contact Bowman Chevy for all the details!

General Tips

Most car seats are made for a specific age group, as well as a height and weight range. Pay close attention to the height and weight maximums, since children grow rapidly in the first few years. A seat that fit your preschooler may be far too small for your kindergartener. Regardless of price and marketing, the best seat is simply the one that fits your child and your vehicle properly. We recommend getting to know your vehicle’s LATCH system, which is a built-in universal attachment system to secure car seats of any brand.

Car Seats by Age Group

Now that you know the basics, let’s go into the specifics! Here is a quick run-down of the appropriate car seat for each age group. However, be sure to do a little research before you commit to a model – especially if your child is on the cusp.

  • Infants and toddlers should use a rear-facing seat to stay safe on the road. Parents can choose an infant-only seat until they reach around 20 pounds, or they can opt for a convertible seat when the baby is a little older.
  • Toddlers and preschoolers can switch to a forward-facing seat once they outgrow the weight or height maximums of the rear-facing seat. These seats come with a harness to keep your little one secure.
  • Young children between 3 and 8 years old can graduate to a booster seat, which gives them extra height to reach the car’s safety belt. Consider opting for a high-back booster if your car has a lower backseat, or go for a backless booster if your car has a headrest.
  • Older children who have grown to 4 foot 9 inches can use the car’s seat belt normally. Children under 13 should stay in the back, while teens can ride up front with parents.

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