If you want to see the “art of the car seat” (as I call it), you need to see Jen P’s car. Boy that thing is rigged up. When I was in her car earlier this year it was funny to see all the stages represented of the “car seat life-cycle”. Three car seats across the second row (the twins were rear-facing at that time and Isabel forward facing) and then Ansley is in the way back in a booster seat. She has to get in from the back tailgate door of the SUV since the carseats cannot be moved. That makes me laugh. So what are the North Carolina laws on car seats EXACTLY? It is different from state to state so it’s worth talking about here.
- A child less than one year of age, OR less than 20 pounds, should ride in a rear-facing infant-only or convertible safety seat.
- Children at least one year old AND who weigh at least 20 pounds should ride in a front-facing seat with a full harness or harness-shield until it is outgrown, usually at about 40 pounds.
- Children should switch to a belt-positioning booster seat when the full harness seat is outgrown and should continue riding in the booster seat until the safety belt fits correctly without the booster seat.
- Children should not be switched to a safety belt until the child is big enough for a correct fit of the belt and is mature enough to sit reasonably still. This may not be until the child is 80 pounds or more and about 4′ 9″ or taller. When wearing a lap and shoulder belt, it is important that both the lap and shoulder belts be worn and positioned correctly. Never tuck the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back. Lap belts alone should be used if nothing else is available.
We’ll talk more in the future about good brands of car seats and we’ll also clarify the whole “8 and 80” rule for boosters. Do you have any comments on this post? Be sure to submit below!