Infant Seat (roughly 0-2 years)
"So the first two years of your child's life, they must remain rear-facing," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol. "Once you place your child inside the child safety seat, it is of utmost importance that you check and make sure that they're securely seated within the device."
"The whole purpose of having a child rear-facing for the first two years of their life is because they are unable to handle a frontal collision," he explained. "Therefore, in the event of a collision, what happens is the car seats designed to go down into the seat cushion, and dissipate the energy off of the baby's body. Now this can only work if the back of the car seat is not touching the back of the front seats."
Forward-Facing Seat (keep them in this seat as long as possible)
After your child is about two years old, they can stop riding rear-facing and turn around.
"When your child graduates from rear-facing to forward-facing, they stay in this five-point configuration as long as possible," Sgt. Pennings said.
"With this particular seat, they can remain in this five-point harness until 65 pounds," he added.
Booster Seat (recommended for children too big for car seats until they are 4'9")
Once your child no longer fits in the forward-facing car seat, it's time to move onto booster seats. The CHP recommends they stay in these seats until they are at least 4'9".
When Your Child Outgrows Their Seat (8 years and up)
After your child outgrows their car seats, it's important they stay seated in the back seat. You can call any CHP office to schedule an appointment, where a technician will critique your seat and help install one if needed. For more information on child car seats from the CHP, click here.
For other answers from the CHP, go to abc30.com/knowtheroad.
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