Securing your child in the right safety seat may prevent serious injury in a motor vehicle accident. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, the risk for this type of injury decreases by 59% when parents properly use an approved child safety seat.

Review the Georgia guidelines for child safety seats so you can select the right seat based on your child’s age, weight and height.

Infant and toddler seats

You should become familiar with three different types of safety seats as your child grows. An infant seat secures babies weighing up to 35 pounds. This seat should face the rear of the vehicle until your child is at least one year old and exceeds 20 pounds.

You can move your child to a toddler seat when he or she reaches the weight and height limits for the infant seat. This type of seat has a five-point harness and may also support the safer rear-facing position. While the limits for individual seats vary, parents can use most toddler safety seats until the child exceeds 40 pounds and reaches age 3.

Preschool and beyond

From ages 4 to 8, your child should ride in a booster seat that helps the car’s seat belt fit correctly. Georgia law requires a booster until children reach 57 inches tall and 80 pounds.

Up to 80% of children ride in an incorrectly installed car seat based on data from the NHTSA. Improper installation limits the seat’s ability to protect your child in a crash. Check with your local police or fire department to learn about car seat installation evens in your area to reduce the risk for car accident injury.