The 4 stages of car seats for children

Knowing what kind of child seat your son or daughter requires can be complicated. Once you take a look at the options, you'll find a complex list of car seat stages intended to be used at different times in your children's development. This article will offer a brief description of each of these stages so you can better navigate your car seat purchasing decisions for your children.

Stage 1: This the first kind of seat your baby will use and it is rear-facing. These seats offer extra head support, and they are installed at a 45-degree angle, helping the baby to breathe easier while offering a harness to secure the baby in case of a crash.

Stage 2: When the baby outgrows the height/weight limitations of the Stage 1 seat, it's time to graduate them to Stage 2, which is a forward-facing seat. The seats have narrow straps for children with smaller shoulders.

Stage 3: When the height/weight limitations are outgrown, it's time to graduate to Stage 3, a booster seat. This kind of seat lets children use a seat belt like their bigger counterparts, but the booster helps position children in a way that the seat belt will fit them better, across their shoulders and laps snuggly and safely.

Stage 4: Is the last and final stage of child seats, and it doesn't involve any kind of seat at all. However, because children grow and develop at different rates, it's important that your child is not graduated to Stage 4 until you're certain that he or she is big enough to use a seat belt snuggly and safely without a booster seat.

Following the four stages of child seats will help British Columbia parents keep their children as safe as possible in the event of a serious collision. The scientific studies and statistics used to create these stages show that their use will increase the safety of children. However, there is no way to fully safeguard children against injury, and if a serious injury does occur in a car crash, parents may want to investigate whether those injuries were caused a negligent car seat manufacturer or a negligent driver that can be held liable for the injuries.

Source: Government of Canada, "Buying a child car seat or booster seat," accessed Oct. 20, 2016

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