Infant Car Seat Guidelines

Before you and your baby are discharged from Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, an infant car seat must be properly installed in the back seat of the car. Practice installing your car seat prior to your baby’s due date. If you need help or want to have an expert check the accuracy of the car seat installation, contact your local fire or police station to schedule a safety check.

The importance of car seats for young children cannot be overstated. By properly installing car seats and using seat belts correctly, you can greatly reduce the chance of injury in the event of a car crash.

Please follow these simple rules when using a car seat:

  • All children age 12 and under must be properly restrained in the back seat.

  • Infants must ride in the back in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 12 months old and weigh at least 20 lbs.

  • Children over one year who weigh more than 20 lbs. may ride in a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat. They should ride in a safety seat with a full harness until they weigh 40 lbs.

  • Children who have outgrown safety seats should be restrained in belt positioning booster seats until they are between 8 and 12 years of age or taller than 4’9”.

  • When selecting a car seat, you may want to review safety test results for different car seat models to help you choose the seat that is right for your child.

Additional important safety rules:

  • Always use a car safety seat.

  • Never place a child in a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an airbag.

  • The safest place for all children to ride is in the back seat.

  • Set a good example for your children by always wearing your seat belt.

  • Each car seat is different. Make sure to read and follow the owner’s manual and the manufacturer’s installation guidelines.

  • You should practice installing your seat prior to your delivery.

To obtain information on car seat recalls, current federal and state laws about car seats, and installation guidelines, please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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Lake Forest