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Roadside chat: So big! Is baby in right carseat?

09/24/2021

9-24 So bigBringing home a new baby can be overwhelming. There are so many things to think about to keep your child safe. One of the most important is making sure your child’s car seat is secured properly in your vehicle and that your child is correctly buckled into the car seat. This advice is not only for newborns. The safest place for your child is in the appropriate child safety seat, which changes as they grow.

With so many different seats on the market, choosing the right one can be a challenge. ​The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s age, size, and developmental needs. Here is more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about choosing the most appropriate car safety seat for your child.

  1. All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat (CSS) as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their CSS’s manufacturer. Most convertible seats have limits that will permit children to ride rear-facing for two years or more.
  2. All children who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their CSS should use a forward-facing CSS with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their CSS’s manufacturer.
  3. All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their CSS should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 ft 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
  4. When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.
  5. All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a calculator to help you determine the right seat for your child. Go to https://www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/right-seat.

If you want help installing your child’s safety seat, you can find a certified car seat technician in your area at https://cert.safekids.org/find-tech.

So far in 2021, there have been 243 deaths in traffic crashes. That is an increase off five since last Friday. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at https://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/stats/daily.pdf


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Iowa highway in the evening