We previously talked about the different types of rear-facing car seats and how they can prevent injury (See our blog "Car seats: Rear-Facing"). This week we will outline when it is suggested a child is put into a forward-facing car seat, what forward-facing car seats are available, and how they can protect your child.
Reminder: Children should remain in a rear-facing seat until they reach the top height or weight limits listed on the seat. Once they have reached these limits, they should move into a forward-facing seat with a harness that is installed in the back seat with the seat belt or lower anchors and tether.
There are 4 types of forward-facing car seats:
- Forward-facing-only seat. This seat has a harness and tether and is designed to be used forward-facing only.
- Convertible seat. This seat can convert from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat. It has the flexibility to fit children of various sizes and allows for children to stay in a rear-facing position longer.
- Combination seat. This seat transition from a forward-facing seat with a harness into a booster as the child grows.
- All-in-one seat. This seat can change from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat to a booster seat as a child grows. Make sure you read the manufacturer's description to see when it is time for your child to switch.
During a crash, the harness distributes the forces of the crash across the child's body and keeps the child in the seat. The tether limits the child's forward head movement, which can help minimize/prevent whiplash.
Need help installing your car seat or just unsure if you did it right? Colorado has Inspection Stations. If you are unable to arrange a car seat check at a local station, contact Angel Griffin at (720) 376-1391 or email her at [email protected] to set up a virtual appointment.
For more information visit: https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats#age-size-rec or https://www.codot.gov/safety/carseats/faq