Injury Prevention

Car Seat Safety Chart

Choose the right car seat for your child

Birth to 1 year
Up to 20 pounds and 26 inches long

Recommendation:
  • Use a rear-facing infant seat or a convertible seat in the rear-facing position.
  • Set the shoulder straps below the child’s shoulder level.
  • Thoroughly review manufacturer’s instructions.

1 to 4 years
20 to 40 pounds, 26 to 40 inches tall

Recommendation:

  • Use a forward-facing seat or a convertible seat in the forward-facing position.*
  • Position the straps at or above shoulder level.
  • Thoroughly review manufacturer’s instructions.

* The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children remain rear-facing in their car seats until they are at least 2 years old and/or until they reach the maximum weight limit for their seat to be rear-facing. Pennsylvania law states the minimum time rear-facing is 1-year-old and at least 20 pounds, but rear-facing is the safest way for younger children to travel.


4 to 8 years
40 to 80 pounds, 40 to 57 inches tall

Recommendation:

  • Use a belt-positioning booster seat or a high-back, belt-positioning booster seat that uses the vehicle’s lap-shoulder belt.
  • Don’t use a shield-type booster seat.
  • Thoroughly review manufacturer’s instructions.
Last Update
January 13, 2013
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Last Update
January 13, 2013
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