Re: A Car Seat Primer
Would it be possible to update the info for this post?
The AAP recommend rear-facing to a bare minimum of 2 years old and then to the maximum fit of the car seat. The National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration recommends rear-facing to age 4 if possible or to the maximum of the car seat.
The vertebrae in the neck are actually 3 separate bones in children. The muscles and tendons of the neck can stretch up to 2" before showing visible injury. But the spinal cord will snap after only 1/4" movement. The vertebrae begin to fuse into a solid ring of bone to protect the spinal cord somewhere between ages 3-6.
Age 4-7 years should be in a harness as long as possible. Children should remain in a booster until age 12 (if possible) for the pelvis to mature enough to be able to withstand accident forces without the support of a child restraint.
The earliest a child should move out of a booster is when they can pass the 5-step test, which will vary in each vehicle:
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
Last edited by lilychic4; 10-13-2012 at 07:56 PM.