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