Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

The right car seat at the right time can save a life

Learn which seat to use when and keep your child safer.

How Important Are Car Seats, You Ask?

In the late 90's, before child and booster seat information was readily available and legislation was passed, car crashes were the leading cause of death for American children under four. That is no longer true. Studies have shown a whopping 15% reduction in motor vehicle-related fatalities for all child occupants.

But what car seat to use and when?

This is a tricky one. You may think your child has outgrown their current seat or is big enough to sit forward-facing but it's vitally important to consult an expert by calling your car seat 's manufacturer's customer service as many of them are certified technicians. You can also attend a local car seat checkup event. Always read the instructions and labels on your car seat. 


  • Keep your child rear-facing until at least two, even if they are already in a convertible seat. (The convertible seat will allow for the additional growth of a two year old if the rear facing only seat is outgrown.)
  • Whether your child should move to another seat depends on their height and weight not age. Again read the labels of your seats.

The booster seat will be the last phase of car seats you need to purchase for your child. But when is it time to retire that booster seat?  When your child passes Safe Kid's Seat Belt Test:

  • The child's knees should bend at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back;
  • The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs NOT the stomach area; and
  • The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest. This means approximately 4'9" and 80 to 100 pounds. This is usually between the ages of eight to 12 years old.

Another thing to keep in mind, not all states have the same laws when it comes to car seats. Follow Safe Kids' test for the safety of your children but it's also good to know where your state stands on the issues. 

Other resources for more information:

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

Select a product to start a quote.


Also Important

Installing Car Seats Properly Could Help Save Lives

Installing Car Seats Properly Could Help Save Lives

Learn how installing and using car seats properly helps keep your child safe.

Buying the Best Car Seat

Buying the Best Car Seat

One of Your Most Important Parental Purchases: The life-saving car seat.

Related Articles

Annual Car Maintenance Schedule

Annual Car Maintenance Schedule

Help keep your vehicle running smoothly.

What Not to Store in the Garage

What Not to Store in the Garage

Wondering what not to store in the garage? Some items might surprise you. Learn more about what can stay and what should be stored elsewhere.

New Features That Improve Car Safety

New Features That Improve Car Safety

Five modern safety features in cars can help prevent accidents.