We are all aware that car seats help to keep our kids safe, but there is a lot of conflicting information about the rules and recommendations. Each car seat manufacturer has suggestions about installation and use specific to that seat. Recent legislation in Minnesota has added another layer of confusion.
New research indicates that toddlers are more than 5 times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is recommended that infants ride in a rear-facing car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight according to the manufacturer, and then be transitioned to a convertible car seat and be kept rear-facing until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2.
After age 2, children can remain in the convertible car seat forward-facing until they reach age 4 years and 40 pounds. At that point, they should be transitioned to a booster seat in the rear seat of the car. A recent change in legislation in Minnesota now mandates booster seats until 8 years of age or until they reach 4 feet 9 inches tall.