Having a good understanding of what weight for forward facing car seat is important for your child’s safety. The proper weight limit for a car seat will vary based on the type of car seat you choose. For example, a rear-facing seat will have higher limits for weight and height than a forward-facing seat.
- 1 Rear-facing car seats are safer for the head, neck, and back
- 2 Rear-facing car seats help absorb the brunt of the impact
- 3 Rear-facing car seats may have higher limits in weight and height
- 4 Combination seats work first as forward-facing seats and then as booster seats
- 5 Shield booster seats pose a risk of ejection in a rollover crash
Rear-facing car seats are safer for the head, neck, and back
Using a rear-facing car seat is the best way to protect your child’s head, neck, and back. They are designed to offer maximum protection for your child’s developing body in the event of an extreme crash.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rear-facing car seat as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to use one until your child reaches the height and weight limits of the seat.
You should also be aware of the safety belt’s role. In a rear-facing crash, the seat belt keeps the occupant in place. It also restrains the pelvis. This holds the body in place, while also preventing the legs from sliding out of the seat.
In addition, forward-facing car seats put stress on the spinal cord, which can lead to life-changing injuries. A study found that rear-facing kids had a lower rate of injury in frontal impacts, while forward-facing kids had a higher rate of injury in side impacts.
Rear-facing car seats help absorb the brunt of the impact
Using a rear-facing car seat is the best way to protect a child’s head and spinal cord in a crash. In addition, it distributes the crash force along the child’s body. This reduces the chance of injury in all directions.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best way to protect a child is to remain rear-facing until the child reaches the maximum height or weight limit of the car seat. Rear-facing children have lower rates of injury and death in rear-impact crashes, and have less chance of breaking bones and hip injuries.
A young child’s spine is not fully formed, and the vertebrae are not fused together. The spinal cord is held together by ligaments and cartilage, which can stretch during a crash. Stretching can cause paralysis and even death.
Rear-facing car seats may have higher limits in weight and height
Putting your child in a rear-facing car seat is one of the safest ways to travel. Car seat guidelines are based on the age and weight of the child. Some states only require car seats for certain age groups. You can check the car seat manual for weight and height guidelines.
Most rear-facing car seats are designed to support a child up to about 40 pounds. A few seat manufacturers allow children to continue rear-facing longer.
When your child reaches a certain age, it’s time to transition to a forward-facing seat. These seats help protect your child’s neck, spine, and legs. They also make it easier for you to interact with your child.
Combination seats work first as forward-facing seats and then as booster seats
Using a combination seat, also called an “all-in-one” seat, allows you to transition your child from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing seat and a booster seat. These seats can be installed in your car with the vehicle seat belt or with the LATCH system (lower anchors and tethers for children), which can also be used as a substitute for a seat belt.
The tether is one of the most important parts of a forward-facing car seat. It connects the seat to the vehicle’s tether anchor point, which is usually at the back of the seat. This helps prevent your child’s head from moving forward in a crash.
Many states require that kids remain in a five-point harness car seat until they are four years old. The weight limit of a five-point harness seat is less than the weight limit of a booster seat. The harness straps should be fitted snugly across your child’s shoulders and hips.
Shield booster seats pose a risk of ejection in a rollover crash
Booster seats, particularly shield boosters, have been on the market for years. But a new study suggests these seats may not be as safe as they claim. These boosters are labeled for kids as small as 20 pounds and as big as 60 pounds, but their upper body protection is no match for that of other types of seats.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends shield boosters be used with lap belts. They are also recommended for children between 40 and 60 pounds. But a new study suggests these seats are no better than other types of boosters. In fact, they pose a risk of ejection in a rollover crash.