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Use the Correct Car Seat

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Infographic: Using the correct car seat or booster seat can be a lifesaver. Make sure your child is always buckled in an age- and size-appropriate car seat or booster seat. Use a rear-facing car seat from birth to age 2. Use a forward-facing car seat from age 2 up to at least 5. Use a booster seat from age 5 up until seat belts fit properly. Use a seat belt once seat belts fit properly without a booster seat.

Using the correct car seat or booster seat can be a lifesaver: make sure your child is always buckled in an age-and size-appropriate cat seat or booster seat.

Rear-Facing Car Seat

Birth up to Age 2
Buckle children in a rear-facing seat until age 2 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat.

Forward-Facing Car Seat

Age 2 up to at least age 5*
When children outgrow their rear-facing seat, they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat until at least age 5 or when they reach the upper weight or height limit of that seat.

Booster Seat

Age 5 up until seat belts fit properly*
Once children outgrow their forward-facing seat, they should be buckled in a booster seat until seat belts fit properly. The recommended height for proper seat belt fit is 57 inches tall.

Seat Belt

Once seat belts properly without a booster seat.
Children no longer need to use a booster seat once seat belts fit them properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper highs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck).

Keep children ages 12 and under in the back seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an active air bag.

*Recommended age ranges for each seat type vary to account for differences in child growth and height/weight limits of car seats and booster seats. Use the car seat or booster seat owner’s manual to check installation and the seat height/weight limits, and proper seat use.

  • Page last reviewed: September 19, 2016
  • Page last updated: September 19, 2016
  • Content source: Error processing SSI file
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