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Car Seat Safety Pt. 4: Forward-Facing Car Seats

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Kati Scanlon1 year ago

The fourth part in this series will be on forward-facing car seats.

A child should start using a forward-facing car seat once they have reached the maximum height and weight rear-facing car seat manufacturer allows for. A child should ride in a seat with a harness until they are at least 4-years-old, if not for longer.

Types of Rear-Facing Car Seats

Forward-Facing Only Seats

  • Can be used with a harness until a child reaches 40 to 80 pounds, though maximum weight may vary depending on model.
  • Forward-facing seats are no longer being produced by manufactures, though there are many that are still in use.

Convertible Seats

  • These seats can convert from rear-facing too forward-facing.

Combination Seat With Harness

  • Can operate as a forward-facing seat with harness until a child reaches 40 to 90 pounds. This seat type can also be used as a booster until a child is 80 to 120 pounds. All weight maximums may vary depending on seat manufacturer.

Built-in Seats

  • Certain vehicles come with forward-facing seat that are built in. The maximum weight and height for seats may vary.
  • A child should not use a built-in sear unless they are least 2-years-old.

Travel Vests

  • Can be used for children who weigh between 20 and 168 pounds.
  • Vests can be a good option for children with special needs, who may exceed height and weight limits for traditional forward-facing seats, and for vehicles that have lap-only seat belts.

Installation Tips For Forward-Facing Seats


Information provided by

  • Ensure harness is in the correct positions and that it is snug.
  • Ensure the car seat is firmly attached and installed correctly.
  • Ensure the seat belt, if using one, is following the forward-facing belt path.
  • Always use the top tether in a vehicle when possible to provide extra security for a child.


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