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What is the proper angle for a child's car seat?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
The recommended angle for a rear-facing car seat is tilting back 45 degrees. At 45 degrees, the back of the seat absorbs most of the forces in a crash. If the seat is overreclined, those forces go to the child's shoulders and neck instead of the car seat. Plus, the angle helps keep a newborn's airways open. You can test the angle by making an L with your thumb and index finger, then lining up the seat in between the two. If the seat angle juts out in between those fingers, it's 45 degrees.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.