In 71% of cases, a car seat reduces the risk of an infant’s fatal injury in the passenger seat. Car seats vary depending on your child’s age. At a different age level, you’ll need a different car seat for your kid. So, it’s better to learn which seat to buy at what age before heading to purchase to ensure safety for your kid when traveling in a car. In this article, we will discuss types of car seats by age.
You can’t predict a child’s growth. Some outgrow the rear-facing seat before their first birthday, some can stay in that for up to 15 months. So, here we’re putting up a car seat recommendation for the particular ages of the kid.
Basically, you can find 4 types of car seats on the market. Let’s see!
Rear Facing Infant Seat
Infant seats are rear-facing and can be used until your kid weighs up to 35 lbs or 18kg. Babies normally outgrow the rearward-facing car seat within 8 to 9 months. However, this can change depending on your child’s height and growth. So, you can extend or shorten the time as needed. But you have to switch the seat with a convertible seat or all-in-one as the baby grows up to the safety limit.
This car seat is designed to carry newborns or infants up to the age and weight limit given by the producer. This car seat can only be used rear-facing. When the baby outgrows a rear-facing infant car seat you should switch to a convertible or all-in-one.
These seats have the feature to reduce the pressure on the child’s delicate neck and spinal cord using the harness and moving with the baby cradling it as it moves in a crash.
Convertible car seats can be converted from rear-facing to front-facing with a harness when the child grows from infant to toddler. These seats have a higher age, height, and weight limit for the rear-facing positions.
The seat includes a harness and a tether to ensure extended safety when the car seat is forward-facing. The convertible seat is a better choice as the child can stay in the rear-facing position longer in this seat, which is more preferable for the child’s safety.
All-in-One Car Seat
This particular seat type can be changed from a rear-facing infant seat to a forward-facing toddler seat with a harness and tether to a booster seat as the child grows. Hence the name is all-in-one. You can modify the seat as the child grows. These car seats have the highest price range in the market.
Once your child reaches the limit in a forward-facing position with a harness and tether, it’s time to give the kid a booster seat, but in the back seat. Booster seats need to be used for the kids aging from 8 to 12 years olds until they are ready to use the passenger seat.
Types of Booster Car Seats
High-back Booster Seat
The high-back booster seat has a high back to boost the kid’s height to fit the car’s seat belt. Additionally, it provides the kid with headrest and neck support. So, the seat is ideal for cars without a headrest.
Backless Booster Seat
The backless booster doesn’t provide any headrest and neck support. It only gives the kid a boost to fit into the car’s seat belt. Hence, this is ideal for cars that have head rests.
Age Limit For Various Type of Car Seats
According to NHSTA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the car seat standards by age should be like this:
The rear-facing car seat age for your kid is up to 2 years old. If the child outgrows the rear-facing car seat before 2 years old, it should be moved to the front-facing car seat.
Childs under 1 year of age should ride in the rear-facing car seat. Once the child reaches the rear-facing seat limit by the car seat manufacturer, it is ready to travel in the front-facing position.
Once the child reaches the rear-facing sit limit, switch the seat to a front-facing seat. However, the child may grow fast or slow. So, use your instincts.
8 – 12 Years
The booster seat is not anymore required If the kid is growing too fast and ok to ride on the passenger seat. However, the kids should still ride in the back seat even if they cross the age limit of using a booster seat. Because it’s safer there than the front seat in a crash.
12 – 15+ years
The passenger seat is perfect for them when the shoulder belt is close-fitting across the chest and shoulder, not the face or neck. And the lap belt lies across the upper thighs and not the stomach in a close-fitting knit. Position the seat belt over the sturdy parts of your child’s body.
Additional Important Notes-
Note 1- One important thing to mention is that all the seats that can be found on the market currently meet the U.S. govt’s tough crash and fire safety standards except for the old ones that are handed down. So, if you buy a used one or got inherited by a hand-me-down seat make sure to do a background check so that it meets all the current safety standards for the sake of your child.
Note 2- car seats are made technically safe, but it’s your duty to make them secure within the car to ensure a safe journey. The wrong installation can lead to severe injury. Therefore, follow the manual properly and get it inspected by a professional if required.
Note 3- Check out the manufacturer’s guidelines to pick the right car seat for your kid. It has clear instructions and recommendations for car seats according to the child’s weight and height.
Note 4- Lastly, check out your car manual to find out which seat fits best to give the kid a comfortable ride and how to install the seat properly and safely.