It is a normal thing for parents to enjoy watching their children progress from one developmental stage or milestone to another. However, moms and dads in Georgia are cautioned about pushing too hard to move kids up to the next type of car seat until the children are truly ready to do so. Instead of viewing the move from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat as an exciting developmental advance, parents should remain focused on keeping their kids safe first and foremost.

HealthyChildren.org explains that there are multiple types of car seats and restraints. The first ones that would be used with a newborn come in two forms. One is designed to be rear-facing only while others may be positioned facing the rear or the front, allowing their use for a longer period of time. Some forward-facing seats are only intended for that position.

After a car seat with a harness system has been outgrown, children should use booster seats with the in-vehicle seat belts. The booster seats literally raise kids up so the seat belts fit them properly across the chest and shoulder and do not span their necks. Once children are tall enough, they may use seat belts without boosters.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children remain in rear-facing positions for as long as they reasonably fit in those seats. This might be at the age of two years old, three years old or more depending on children’s growth. These seats offer the best protection for kids’ developing spines, necks and heads.