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child car safety | Northern California Personal Injury Blog

Choosing the Right Car Seat for Your Child

By Kelly Balamuth on June 23, 2011

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the first factor to consider when choosing a car seat is the child’s age. Babies up to 12 months old should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. Even children from 1 to 3 years old are safest in the rear-facing position and should continue to use that seat for as long as they are under the height and weight maximums designated by the manufacturer. Once they become too big for the rear-facing seat, 1 to 3 year olds may ride in a forward facing seat with a harness.

Once the child exceeds the height and weight restrictions for the forward facing harness seat, usually between the ages of 4 and 7, he or she should use a booster seat. The purpose of the booster seat is to position the child and the seat belt so that it fits correctly and will adequately restrain the child in an emergency.

A child should continue to use a booster seat until he or she is big enough that a seat belt will fit properly. A proper fit means that the seat belt lies across the upper thighs, not the stomach, and comes across the shoulder over the chest, not across the face and neck. The NHTSA recommends that, regardless of the type of seat being used, children under the age of 12 ride in the back seat of the vehicle.

Should the unexpected happen while driving with children in the car, it is important that they are as safe as possible and properly restrained. If you or your child is injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, call the Orinda auto accident lawyers at Balamuth Harrington today at 1-888-254-1234.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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