Car Safety Seat Guidelines

Age Type of Seat General Guideline
Infants Infant-only and rear-facing convertible All infants should always ride rear-facing until they are 2 years of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.
Toddlers/

Preschoolers

Convertible and forward-facing Recent articles and data suggest it is best to ride rear-facing as long as possible until at least 2 years of age.*
School-aged children Booster Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until the adult seat belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4’ 9” in height, 100 lbs. in weight, and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
Older children Seat Belts Children who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder belt; they should ride in the back seat until 13 years of age.

*Marilyn J. Bull, MD and Dennis R. Durbin, MD, MSCE. “Rear-Facing Car Safety Seats: Getting the Message Right.” PEDIATRICS. Vol. 121 No. 3 March 2008, pp. 619-620.