Forward-Facing Car Seat Facts

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 20,379
    Jennifer Davidson with AAA discusses forward-facing car seats for children.

    Jennifer Davidson: Hi! I am Jennifer Davidson with AAA, and I would like to talk to you about forward-facing car seats for your child. Once children reach age two and outgrow the upper limit of the rear-facing convertible seat, they can ride forward-facing in a harness.

    5 point harnesses provide ultimate protection for children and they should continue to be used until your child reaches the maximum weight limit or height limit of the seat. There are different types of seats available that can accommodate your forward-facing child.

    Convertible seats can be used rear-facing for toddlers and then forward-facing. There are also seats that can be used forward-facing with harnesses or may be a combination seat which can be used as a booster when the child is ready.

    Once you have selected the best seat for your child, it is now time to choose the best location for the seat in your vehicle. Install the seat according to the instructions using either the LATCH system or the seat belt, making sure that you cannot move the seat more than an inch when checking at the belt path.

    The harnesses should be positioned at or above your child's shoulders for forward-facing and be snug enough so that you cannot pinch any slack at the shoulders. Be sure to attach the top tether whenever possible according to the instructions provided by your car seat manufacturer and your vehicle manufacturer.

    The chest clip should be positioned at armpit level, across your child's chest.

    For more tips on installing a car seat, there are online resources available at sites such as seatcheck.

    org and nhtsa.