When you are expecting a baby, you spend lots of time preparing for your new addition. One of your most important purchases will be a child safety seat, which can reduce the risk of auto accident injury by nearly 60% according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.

Review the Georgia state laws and federal recommendations to make sure your child stays safe when riding in your vehicle.

Choosing a seat by size

According to Georgia law, you must use a rear-facing infant seat until your baby reaches age 1 and exceeds 20 pounds in weight. When you turn the infant seat around, you can use it until your child reaches 35 pounds.

Next, your toddler will graduate to a child safety seat with a five-point harness. He or she can remain in this seat until age three and the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.

When your child reaches age 4, he or she must stay in a booster seat until age 8. You can keep using a booster until your child reaches 57 inches tall and 80 pounds regardless of age. Doing so ensures the vehicle’s seatbelt will fit your child correctly.

Installing a child safety seat

The NHTSA estimates that only about 20% of parents have correctly installed their child’s safety seat. Check with your local fire or police department or visit NHTSA online to find child safety seat installation events in your area. Professionals will check your seat to make sure it will protect your child as intended.

Without the right safety seat, your child could experience a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident.