If you’re expecting your first child, you’ve no doubt realized there are many questions to answer, not the least of which is how to transport your kid safely around town. We’ve collected some tips on what to look for in a child safety seat to help you make the most informed decision for your family.
What are the rules and regulations about child safety seats in Georgia?
Before we discuss what to look for in a child safety seat, let’s talk about the rules and regulations about these seats in Georgia since a safety seat may not be necessary for your child.
- All children younger than 8 years old are required to be in a car seat that is suitable for their age and height as determined by the NHTSA.
- Children who weigh at least 40 pounds may be secured by a lap belt in the back seat of the vehicle if the vehicle does not have shoulder belts or if other belts are occupied by other children.
- If there is not a back seat in the vehicle or if there are other children in the back seat, children weighing at least 40 pounds may sit in the passenger’s seat.
What should you look for in a child safety seat?
The answer to this question depends on the age and size of your child and will change over time as your child grows. You can find a comprehensive seat check guide and the closest seat inspection station near you at the NHTSA website.
In general, though, you can expect the following timeline for your child’s car seat journey:
- Use a rear-facing car seat for infancy up until 2–4 years old
- When your child outgrows the rear-facing seat, transition to a forward-facing car seat
- When your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, use a booster seat until the seat belts fit properly (when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt lays across the chest)
- Once seat belts fit properly, Georgia law requires that all passengers use a seat belt
Using a car seat incorrectly can be just as dangerous as not using a car seat at all, but how do you know when you’ve misstepped? The Mayo Clinic also offers these tips on common – but easily avoidable – car seat mistakes, which we’ve summarized below.
- Getting a used car seat without doing research
- Setting up your car seat in the wrong spot or incorrectly installing it
- Changing to a forward-facing car seat or booster seat when your child is too young
- Changing to seatbelt use when your child is too young
Keep Your Child Safe With A Car That’s In Top Condition
A properly installed car seat that is correctly sized for your child will go a long way towards keeping them safe. Making sure your car is in top condition is another way to keep both you and your child safe, as you can avoid unexpected mechanical issues on the road. T3 Atlanta can help make sure your car is in good condition with preventive maintenance and more in-depth repairs as needed. Give us a call at one of our two convenient locations and we’ll pen you in for an appointment!