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Car Seat Rules and Regulations

As a parent, it is your job to keep your child as safe as possible, especially when traveling in the car. This area of child safety is often tricky for parents to navigate as there is a lot of misinformation out there about appropriate car seats for toddlers and children. Following this misinformation, a number of parents decide on car seats solely by the age of their child, which may be unsafe.

Children that are of the same age can vary greatly in size, which makes age alone a poor deciding factor in choosing a safe car seat. In order to provide the best safety while in the car, other factors must also be taken into account, including the height and weight of the child. It is best to follow the height and weight limitations from the car seat manufacturers as opposed to basing car seat choices on age.

Pediatricians in Glendale AZ and the surrounding areas would like to provide this guideline to help you best protect your children during car travel:

  • Infants/Toddlers. The first seat that your infant or toddler will start out with is a rear facing car seat, which they should stay in until at least the age of two. If your toddler reaches this age, and hasn’t reached the maximum height and weight limit, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics and North Phoenix pediatricians recommend that you continue to use this seat as rear facing seats provide five times better protection in the event of a crash.
  • Toddlers/Preschoolers. When your child reaches the safety limits of their rear facing car seat, North Phoenix pediatricians recommend that you switch to a forward facing car seat with a harness. This seat should be used as long as possible up to the height and weight limitations provided by the car seat manufacturer.
  • School Aged Children. After your child outgrows their forward facing car seat with harness, you can then move them to the next stage in seating: a booster seat. Regardless of age, it is important that children remain in booster seats until the actual vehicle lap and shoulder seatbelts fit properly. Children are typically able to graduate from booster seats upon reaching a height of approximately 57 inches.
  • Older Children. Once children are heavy and tall enough to use vehicle seatbelts, pediatricians in Glendale AZ recommend that they sit in the back until at least the age of thirteen. Airbags in the front seats that deploy during an accident for safety purposes can actually severely injure or kill children that are not of the appropriate size. Speak with your North Phoenix pediatricians to learn when your child can safely sit in the front.

Following the above guideline will help you to offer the greatest protection for your child in the event of a car accident.

In addition to the guideline, also visit with the North Phoenix pediatricians at Pediatrix for regular well child check ups. During these well child check ups, you can receive expert advice from your pediatrician about appropriate car seats for your child’s height and weight as well as other health and safety information. Our North Phoenix pediatricians also provide a variety of quality medical services, including immunization screening, administration of immunizations, treatments and procedures. To schedule an appointment for well child check ups, call Pediatrix at (602) 866-0550 or contact us online.

Posted in Blog on August 15th, 2014