Car Seat Safety
Here are tips to consider when shopping for a car seat for your baby:
- Be sure the seat meets national standards. The label should say “This child restraint system conforms to all applicable U.S. federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
- Try the seat in your vehicle to make sure it fits and will be easy to use. If the store will not allow this, check their return policy.
- Infant-only seats (with handles) are portable. Whether placed in a base or buckled directly into the vehicle, they can be easily removed and used as infant carriers.
- Convertible seats can be used both rear and forward facing. They have a higher weight and height limit. The can be switched to forward facing when the child is 2 years old or when he reaches the maximum height and weight for rear facing.
- Some convertible seats may not provide the best fit for smaller newborns, especially preemies. For tips specifically for preemies and small newborns, see the printable handout compiled by Dr. Alisa Baer, "Car Seat Tips for Preemies and Small Newborns."
Car Seat Tips for Preemies & Small Newborns
- The harness should be easy to adjust when putting baby in and out of the seat.
- If you are buying a seat with a base, you can buy extra bases for other vehicles.
- If you are considering a used seat, make sure it was never involved in a crash, that it has not been recalled, that it has all parts and labels, and that it is not too old (generally 6 years).
Installing Your Seat
Meeting with a Child Passenger Safety Technician provides a hands-on opportunity to learn how to properly secure your children in their child safety seats. When you consider the many kinds of vehicles and safety seat models on the market, it is easy to understand why installing and using car seats can be complicated.
Winter Haven Women's Hospital offers free appointments with a child passenger safety technician who can teach and assist you with installing your car seat.
When coming for your appointment, please bring:
- The entire child safety seat
- The seat instruction manual
- The car owner’s manual
- The child, if available
Call (863) 291-5944 for your free appointment.
Car seat installation assistance and education by certified child passenger safety technicians.