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Choosing the Right Car Seat for Your Child

smiling child sitting in a front-facing car seat

A car seat is one of the most important purchases that you can make. Car seats and booster seats provide significant protection to your infant or young child, should you ever be involved in an auto accident. To show just how imperative using a car seat is, here are some recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • About 325 children under the age of 5 are saved by car seats each year.
  • In 2018, 35% of children killed in car crashes were unrestrained.
  • About 46% of car seats and booster seats are used incorrectly.

Choosing the right car seat for your child can be the difference between life and death. Below, we discuss some of the ways to ensure your child is safe when riding in your vehicle.

Learn About the Four Types of Car Seats

There are four main types of car seats that you should first familiarize yourself with. The one that your child will need to use will vary depending on their age, weight, and height. We also differentiate between the restraint options that California law specifies your child should utilize:

  • Rear-Facing Car Seat. All children under two years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.
  • Forward-Facing Car Seat. ​While there are no specifications for this type of car seat, it is typically recommended to be used once the child is over 2 and before they are put into a booster seat.
  • Booster Seat. Children under the age of 8 are required to be secured in a car or booster seat.
  • Seat Belt. Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4’9” in height may be secured by a booster seat, but at a minimum must be secured by a safety belt.

Check the NHTSA Website for Recommendations and Recalls

On the NHTSA website, the Car Seat Finder is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to find the right car seat for your child by putting in their height, weight, and age in order to be provided with specific car seats that fit your child.

Additionally, remember that new safety recalls come out every day. It’s important that you take the time to periodically check whether your child’s car seat or booster seat is affected. You can do this by visiting

If you or a loved one is injured in an auto accident, turn to our Chico car accident attorneys for help pursuing the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact our team at (530) 413-0245 to get started with a no-fee, no-obligation case review today!