Car travel should be a safe and pleasant time for you and your baby. By law, infants and children must ride in crash-tested, child restraint seats. Never ride with your child on your lap, in a portable crib or in a car bed. Make sure the car safety seat you select fits your child – a smaller child could slip out of a seat that is too large.
Safety seat laws can differ from state to state and are based on your child’s age, height and weight. Check your state laws. Read the directions that come with the safety seat to be sure you use it correctly.
In cold weather, instead of a bulky snowsuit, dress your baby in a lightweight jacket and hat and tuck a blanket around him for warmth. Never allow your sleeping baby's head to be covered with a blanket (or comforter or quilt) in bed or in a car safety seat. Pillows, blankets, and stuffed toys could cause a baby to suffocate or strangle.
If your baby outgrows the child safety seat before his first birthday, use a convertible or 3-in-1 safety seat in the rear-facing position. These seats can be used 3 ways: rear-facing, forward-facing, or as a booster seat for older children. This kind of safety seat may be used longer by your child, but it is larger than an infant seat and does not have carrying handles. Children should ride in the rear seat of the car until age 13.
Read the directions that came with the seat or ask your healthcare provider when to switch to a toddler safety seat. School-aged children should ride in belt positioning booster seats until at least age 8 or until the regular seat belt fits correctly. It is against the law for a child to ride in the car without being securely buckled into a safety seat. It is against the law because it is very, very dangerous. Please do what is best for your child — use a safety seat during every car ride.
For questions about how to install and use your car seat, contact: