Move Your Baby to a Convertible Car Seat

After examining the results of crash testing, U.S. Consumer Reports has issued new recommendations as to which type of seats keep babies the safest.

Many parents leave their babies in the infant carrier style seats until they reach the weight limit for the seat. However, crash testing has demonstrated that the height guidelines may be more important than the weight guidelines. As babies grow longer, they are at risk of head injuries if the infant seat is too short for them. Crash testing demonstrated that a typical 22 pound one year old would suffer a head strike against the front seat in 53% of the simulations. One year olds that were secured in rear-facing convertible seats would suffer a head strike in 4% of the tests. Head strikes can cause serious injury or death.

Since young children will likely need a convertible car seat anyway, Consumer Reports is recommending that parents make the switch when the child turns one. They have also joined their voices to the many child passenger safety experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, who recommend leaving children rear-facing until at least the age of two in order to best protect children from risk of injury in an automobile collision.