parenting

Car Safety: How To Determine When a Child Outgrows a Front-Facing Car Seat

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Children grow rapidly and car seats do not. It's important that your car seat be correctly sized for your child at every point in the child's growth. If you are transporting your child in a front-facing car seat that is too small for the child's height and weight, you are risking serious injury or death for your child.

Car seats do cost money. The temptation to use a car seat beyond the time when it is safe for the child, is economically tempting, but not worth the inherent risk to the child. Judging from my own experience, it will be more convenient and economical if you buy a convertible car seat which can be used as a rear-facing and a front-facing car seat. Personally, I purchased the best convertible car seat 2011-Britax Convertible Car Seat which could accommodate the front-facing and rear-facing phrases.

Tips to Ensure Your Child is Safely Protected in a Car Seat

Each time you place your child into the car seat, give a quick evaluation of how the child fits in the seat. Check the manufacturer's manual or website to find out exactly what the physical requirements are for the seat to be used safely. To ensure that the child is always properly protected by the car seat, make a habit of the following procedures:

  • Periodically check your child's weight, and compare the results to the requirements given by the car seat's manufacturer. When the child's weight approaches the manufacturer's recommended limit, acquire a new car seat.
  • Perform a similar check on your child's height. The manufacturer will undoubtedly recommend a height limit, but this measurement alone is not enough. It's important to place your child into the seat, properly secured. The child's shoulders should lie below the level of the seat's top strap slots. If the child's shoulders are above this level, acquire a new car seat.
  • With the child properly buckled into the car seat, make sure that all the straps fit properly. If you are forced to the end of the straps, you child is obviously getting too big for the seat. You should never have to cause shoulder discomfort in order to safely secure the child into the seat.
  • Check to see where the child's head lies on the back of the seat. If the child's ears are at the top of the seat, or even with it, the child has grown too big for the seat.

Whenever any of the above conditions exist, the child has grown too big to safely use the car seat. It's time to update. Depending upon the child's size, it may have become time to consider a booster seat. Check the manufacturer's requirements before making this transition. When my little girl outgrew the highest weight of Britax Roundabout 55 Convertible Car Seat, I chose the Britax Booster Seat for her.

When did your child outgrow a car seat? Besides a car seat, what other car safety practices do you enforce in your car while traveling?

Amy Brown was a stay-at-home mom taking care of her family. Now Amy is an editor of Livesnet, a site which was created to offer baby gear reviews and tips on problems parents encounter in daily life. She's surely willing to share her own experience and tips. Please visit Livesnet to read hot review on Joovy Sit N Stand Stroller and find out why parents love it best.

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