According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child safety seats or baby car seats have been found to reduce fatal injury by 71% in infants and 54% amongst children ages 1 to 4. Safety restraints saved an estimated 303 lives of children under the age of 5 in 2010.
"Georgia lawmakers last year passed a bill that requires children ride in approved car seats or booster seats until they are 8 years old or taller than 4 feet 9 inches. The law previously required children under 6 use such restraints, and the new bill aimed to cut down on injuries, fatalities and medical costs among children who often haven't grown into wearing the adult safety belt.
"When you look at what's killing our kids, this is it," said Pam Fair, program manager for Safe Kids Columbus, noting statistics that show crashes are the leading cause of death among children. "We have to make sure our children are transported safely because we already know this is what sends them to the trauma centers.""... Read more here.
Parents generally are told to keep kids in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. The American Academy of Pediatrics last year issued new guidelines recommending children remain in rear-facing seats up to age 2.
"We're kind of in a hurry to get them turned around and facing forward, and we really shouldn't be," Peyton said. "The longer they can stay rear facing, it's better for them."
Once big enough to ride forward facing, children should remain in car seats with a harness until about 50 pounds, and then transition to a booster seat, Fair said.
"All too often parents are trying to rush their child to this booster seat because it's easy -- they just sit down and you buckle them up," she said. "But really a child is not ready for a booster seat until they're older."
Most Police Stations and Fire Stations will either assist in installing an infant car seat for you or at least direct you to a facility that will provide the correct installation.
Take the Car Seat Check to see if your car can accommodate an infant car seat.