Jennifer Davidson: Hi! I am Jennifer Davidson with AAA, and today, I will give you some tips about using rear-facing car seats. Rear-facing seats should be used from birth until age two, or until your child reaches the upper weight limit of their rear-facing convertible seat. This will usually be around 30-45 pounds.
There are infant seats available with and without a base, which are great for newborns. Convertible seats fit larger infants and toddlers rear-facing and then can be used forward-facing.
When a child rides rear-facing, the shell of the car seat distributes the crash forces and helps protect their head, neck, spine and legs. Never install a rear-facing seat in the front seat with an active passenger airbag.
Once you have selected the proper seat for your child, you will now want to choose the best location in the vehicle depending on the number of children and adults you will be transporting. Keep in mind, the rear center seating position is the safest, since it's the farthest away from any point of impact.
Install the seat according to the instructions using either the LATCH system or the seat belt, but never both. Making sure to keep this rear-facing seat at the proper angle, you want to make sure the seat does not move more than one inch when testing at the belt path.
When placing your infant in the seat, the harnesses should be at or below their shoulders and snug so that you cannot pinch any extra slack.
The chest clip should be positioned at armpit level, placing it over the chest which is the hardest part on your infant's body.
For further help, checkout online resources from sites such as seatcheck.
org and nhtsa.