If you need additional assistance, please contact the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Program. The Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Program, funded by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security's Highway Safety Division, brings this information to you.
Toddlers / Preschoolers
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following for toddlers and pre-schoolers:
After reaching the maximum weight or height for rear facing seats, children should ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness until they outgrow it, after which they should use a booster seat with higher weight limits.
Types of Car Seats
The following are types of forward facing car safety seats:
Convertible: Seats that "convert" from rear facing to forward facing.
Forward-facing toddler: Seats that can be used forward facing with a harness for children who weigh up to 40 to 80 pounds.
Combination forward-facing/booster: Seats that can be used forward-facing with a harness for children who weigh up to 40 to 65 pounds or without the harness as a booster seat (up to 80 to 120 pounds).
Built-in seats: Some vehicles come with forward-facing seats built in. Weight and height limits vary.
Be sure you know what kind of seat belts are in your vehicle - check your vehicle owner's manual for this information.
Vehicles produced after 2002 may come with the LATCH system, used to secure car safety seats.
Locate the Car Safety Seat instructional manual and review the instructions prior to installation.
Move the harness straps to the slots that are at or above your child's shoulders. On some convertible seats, only the top harness slots should be used when facing forward. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the car safety seat to be sure. Be sure the harness fits the child snugly.
You may have to adjust the recline angle of the car safety seat. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the car safety seat to be sure.
Ensure that the seat belt runs through the forward-facing belt path.
Install the Car Safety Seat tightly in the vehicle. If there is a movement more than one-inch side-to-side or front to back, when testing at the seat belt path, the installation is not tight enough.