Seat belts and car seats

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
It's the law in every state that infants and children must ride buckled up, either in a car seat or with seat belts. New federal rules establish a single, standardized system for attachments, and all new cars and trucks have standard anchors in the back seats to link to the attachments. There's not one brand or style of car seat that is the safest or best; the best is the one that fits the child's size and weight, fits your car properly, and will be used correctly. Follow the instructions for proper installation. Not all car seats fit all vehicles, so make sure to try the car seat in your vehicle and exchange it if it doesn't fit properly. Children should always ride in the backseat. Sitting in the front seat can cause injury if the air bag deploys. If a child must ride in the front seat, turn off the passenger-side air bag and move the seat back as far as possible. Keep a child in a convertible or booster seat as long as possible, but when your child outgrows it, be sure the vehicle's seat belt fits the child correctly. Seat belts are designed for adults, so make sure the lap belt is across the hips, not the stomach, and that the shoulder belt doesn't cross the throat.

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