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caretaker and two kids sitting on the floor

From that first nervous trip home from the hospital, struggling to buckle our precious cargo into their infant car seat, we spend a lot of time wrestling with our kids’ straps and buckles. As frustrating as those things can be, they are worth it: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.

Selecting the right seat for your child’s age and weight is important, as is making sure it is installed properly. 

A few basic guidelines:

Birth to Age 2 – up to 20 lbs. | Rear-facing

Age 2 to 4 – 20 to 40 lbs. | Forward facing

Age 4 to 8 – over 40 lbs. 4’9″ and up | Booster Seat

Age 8 to 12 | Back seat, with seat belt