What You Need to Know about Car Seat Regulations in the US
Car Seat Regulations Implemented in the US
For parents, their child’s safety is paramount and, to come to their aid, special car seats for kids are created by reputable manufacturers. Even more, federal guidelines and regulations clearly establish the most important rules to abide by when purchasing and using a car seat for children. Knowing about these regulations help parents pick the right product for their young ones.
First of all, you need to know that car seats are designed for specific age categories and they take into account the weight and height of the occupant. This means that the car seat that is a good fit for an infant may not be a good choice for a toddler or an older kid.
As the rule of thumb, infants and toddlers must ride with their parents in a rear facing car seat, until they are at least 2 years old. The only exception to the rule is made when the child is heavier and taller than what it is written in the manufacturer’s requirements. Toddlers and pre-schoolers should ride in forward facing car seats equipped with a safety harness. Again, once they reach a certain weight and height, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, they can be moved to the next type of car seat available for kids.
For kids between 8 and 12 years of age, the federal regulations demand that they ride in a belt position booster chair. The seat belt of the vehicle is used instead of a harness, to ensure the kid’s safety. Older kids should use lap and shoulder seat belts to get the best protection possible. This way, parents will be at peace, knowing that their children are well protected in case something bad happens.
Do not forget that a car seat cannot serve its purpose unless it is properly installed and all the installation requirements are met.