Choosing the proper child safety seat is an important decision to make when transporting a child. The height and weight of the child needs to be considered.
When the child is very small, the car seat must be facing backwards. The recommendation is keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat until they reach 2 years old or weight 35 pounds. Pay close attention to the shoulder strap position on your child when they are in the car seat. The shoulder straps should be level with or just above the shoulder height of the child. When the child reaches a weight greater than the car seat manufacturer's recommendation, you can transition your child to a booster seat. This weight is typically 40-80 pounds. Moving to a regular seat belt configuration should be reserved for children that are at least 4'9". When the child reaches this height the shoulder strap should cross the child's chest and the lap belt should fit snuggly flat on the child's upper thighs.
When a car seat is in use during a car accident, it is also important to have the child seat completely replaced. The seat can be damaged in the collision and may not provide the same safety standard that the manufacturer intends. Tell your insurance company that you need a child seat replaced, and they may reimburse you for the cost.
If you have concerns about the proper installation of your car seat you can attend a free car seat clinic that is held by your local healthcare or law enforcement agencies.
After an auto accident, it's important to have your Chiropractor check your child for injuries.
For parents with small children, protect yourself when moving a child in and out of car.