Florida law requires every motor vehicle operator to use a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device for children until the age of 6. Safe Kids of Northeast Florida, led by THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital, has help educate thousands of parents about the proper use and installation of infant and child car safety seats, as well as booster seats for older children. Not just because it’s the law, but because the use of a child safety seat is the best protection for a child while being transported.
Why this is so important for parents to know
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
Infants ride in the back seat in a rear-facing position from the very first ride home from the hospital.
Parents keep their babies in rear-facing car seats until age 2.
Or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their car seat.
That knowing the rear-facing position supports the head, neck and spine and will keep the child 75% safer in a crash.
Facts parents should know:
Preschoolers should transfer to a forward-facing seat with a full harness after they outgrown rear-facing seats, and stay in the forward-facing seat until they weigh at least to 40 pounds. Some 5-point harness forward-facing seats may be used till the child is 50- 65 pounds.
Older children can transition to a booster seat after forward-facing car safety seats. Booster seats make use of the lap and shoulder seat belts inside the vehicle, and raises the child so the belts properly restrain the child in the seat. Booster seats should be used until the vehicles should and lap belts fit correctly, with this occurring normally when a child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age.