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Confused About Car Seats?

There are four main types of seats used to secure young children in cars. They are:

  • Infant seats
  • Convertible seats
  • Toddler seats
  • Backless Belt Positioning Booster seats

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Rear Facing Infant Car Seat (Click Image for Video) Rear Facing Convertible Car Seat (Click Image for Video) Forward Facing Convertible Car Seat (Click Image for Video) Forward Facing Toddler Car Seat (Click Image for Video)

Texas Car Seat Law - requires all children under 8-years of age and under 4' 9" to be secured in an approved car seat. All other children must be seatbelted in the Back Seat until the age of 12. No child should be unbelted or riding in the front seat of a vehicle. Fines for violations are up to $200.

Alabama Car Seat Law - requires that children under the age of 6 be restrained in an appropriate, federally approved car seat or booster seat. Rear-facing car seats are recommended until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds. Convertible or forward-facing car seats should be used until the child is at least 5 years old or weighs 40 pounds. Alabama law further requires that children ride in booster seats until at least age 6.

Louisiana Car Seat Law - Louisiana state law requires babies under one year of age and under 20 pounds to ride in a rear-facing car seat. Babies at least one year and 20 pounds up to at least 40 pounds must ride in a forward-facing car seat. Children ages four to six who weigh at least 40 pounds up to at least 60 pounds must ride in a belt-positioning booster car seat. Children over age 6 and 60 pounds, if they are not riding in a car seat, must use a lap/shoulder seat belt. Louisiana state law recommends that children who fall into more than one category by age and weight should be placed in the car seat that gives the most protection in a crash.

Infant seats
These seats are designed for infants under one-year-old. Their neck muscles are not strong enough to resist much force. These are rear-facing seats, typically 2 parts - an infant carrier seat with a 5-point harness and a base secured by the car's seat belts as well as a metal latch that is secured to the car. The seat is designed to protect an infant from birth to about 22 pounds (9kg) or about 1 year old.

Convertible seats
Convertible seats can face either rear or forward. They have five-point harness system. A child must be Rear Facing until the child can hold his or her head up and the neck and spine are strong (usually at around 12 months). Pediatricians recommend that children remain rear facing as long as possible or up to 35-lbs. In the Forward Facing position the child should be a minimum of 22 pounds. This style of seat can be used until the child is 40 pounds or around 4½ years old.

Toddler Car Seats
Until recently, some parents would move their kids straight into a seatbelt after they outgrew their convertible car seat. That is a big mistake. With kids, the lap belt tends to ride up on the abdomen and the shoulder belt often cuts across the face or neck. Children can be injured by seat belts that do not fit them correctly as well as by belts that are not worn correctly.

A child car seat is designed to protect someone who weighs up to 80 pounds. Seat belts are designed for a 165 pound (75kg) man in mind. Toddler Car Seats provide the best protection for children by placing them at the correct height. These seats can be used up to 80-lbs.

Toddler Booster seats were designed to correct this problem for most children between the ages of four and eight weighing up to 80 pounds (36kg). They raise children to a height at which lap and shoulder belts can be worn correctly.

The belt positioning booster seat is held in place by the seatbelt or are tethered to the car like a car seat.

Backless Belt Positioning Booster Seats
Older children that are still under 4' 9" and 8-years of age will many times protest using a full car seat. The belt positioning booster is intended to work with the vehicle's seat belt. They raise children to a height at which lap and shoulder belts can be worn correctly. The backless booster seat is not tethered to the car like a carseat.

Children using seat belts without booster seats are 3.5 times more likely to suffer significant injury, and four times more likely to suffer head injury.



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