Buckle up baby
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, use a car seat that faces the rear of the car and is designed for children under 25 pounds. The car seat will hold baby safely in most crashes. If you hold the baby on your lap, a crash could rip the child from your arms and throw him into the dashboard or crush him between your body and the dashboard.
Everyone riding in a car should wear a seat belt and a shoulder harness if available. Any person or object not strapped down could be thrown into and injure your baby. Tool boxes or other heavy objects become dangerous flying missiles in a crash or even a sudden stop. Keep them in the trunk or on the floor of the car.
Pennsylvania law requires:
- Children under the age of four must be properly restrained in an approved child safety seat when riding anywhere in the vehicle.
- Children ages four to eight must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat when riding anywhere in a motor vehicle.
- Children ages eight to eighteen must be in a seatbelt when riding anywhere in the vehicle.
Here are some guidelines to help you use car seats correctly.
- Put baby in the car seat. For small babies, avoid car seats with shields, which can cause injury in a crash. Be sure the straps are snug and over her shoulders. Don't put thick blankets under baby. If it's cold, put baby in a snowsuit, with blankets on top of the straps.
- Place the car seat in the rear seat of the car, never in the front. The car seat should face out the back window. Fasten the car's seat belt through the slots. Never position a rear-facing infant car seat facing forward. All baby car seats should face the rear until baby is at least a year old. Use an infant car seat until baby reaches 20 pounds. Then use a rear-facing convertible safety seat until your child is one year old.