Car Seat Safety: When to Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat

The biggest concern when deciding to upgrade your child’s car seat is safety. You don’t want to upgrade too soon (or too late). But there are a few basic rules to follow so you know when to upgrade.

This post is sponsored by Dulles Kia Dealer Ashburn.

When They are Too Big for an Infant Seat. Most rear-facing baby seats (Or pumpkin seats as we like to call them) have a weight limit of 30 pounds but not height/length limits. Most of the time your baby will probably outgrow the rear facing seat because of how long they are before they out grow the weight limit. Try a convertible seat which can face front or back , and continue having your child face the rear seat until they reach the weight limit.

At One Year Old. Based on recent studies if your baby reaches their first birthday and still fit in the rear facing car seat the safest bet is to go ahead and upgrade to the convertible car seat and keep them rear facing. In stimulated tests it was found that 1 year old children were more likely to hit their head on the back of the front facing seat while in a rear facing infant seat than if they had been riding in a rear facing convertible seat.  

When The Car Seat Expires. Believe it or not years ago most people didn’t know that car seats expired – which is pretty important if you are saving seats to use from child to child, or buying a used seat. The owners manual or seat label will give you the ‘expiration’ date, and be sure to adhere to it. There’s a reason they expire!

When the Seats Been in an Accident. I didn’t know this either – and when my 5 month old was involved in an accident, our insurance company never even told us! Working in the insurance industry now I know that your insurance company will pay to replace the car seat with the same type or better model – you just have to turn the old car seat over to them. .and for the love of all, please don’t try to sell car seats that were involved in accidents! 

When You Just Know it’s Time. If your kid has outgrown their seat – then obviously it’s time to upgrade. But be very cautious; don’t just upgrade because you just want to, be sure it’s because you know your child is ready. It’s a big step upgrading from an infant to a convertible and an even bigger step upgrading a convertible to a booster. Make sure you know your facts, and check out awesome websites like healthychildren.org for more information.

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