Which direction should my child face when in the car?

When it comes to the direction your child should face in the car, consider the following:
  • Children should be in rear-facing position until a minimum of two years old, but preferably longer. They should stay rear-facing until they max out the rear-facing weight limit of the car seat (refer to car seat manufacturer’s instructions).
  • Some parents prefer to buy a new seat with higher weight limits to maintain the rear-facing position. This may allow a child to stay rear-facing until they are 35 or 40 pounds (oftentimes three to four years old). Rear-facing is the safest possible direction for children to face in order to minimize crash forces that cause head, neck and spine injuries.
  • When the child maxes out of the rear-facing position, you may turn them to forward-facing with a five-point harness. Children should also stay in this position until they max out the weight limit of their seat.
  • Once they reach that top weight limit, they are ready for a transition to a booster seat. Children need to stay in a booster seat until they reach 4’9” tall, which can sometimes be age 10 or older.
Securing your child in a booster until age 10 can be a struggle with any budding tween, but doing so could be critical in protecting your child from injury or death in the event of a crash. The best way to keep your child safe in a car is to put them in the right seat, in the right place in the vehicle – every single time.

This content originally appeared on

Continue Learning about Safety & Preparedness

Akamai Beach Safety Tips
Akamai Beach Safety Tips
Kamaaina are already pretty savvy when it comes to staying safe at the beach. Endless precautions are instilled in your subconscious—remain relaxed if...
Read More
What are some fireworks safety tips?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Fireworks add festivity to a Fourth of July celebration, but a public fireworks display is safer and...
More Answers
How can I help prevent my child from drowning?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
You cannot be too vigilant around pools, lakes, oceans and bathtubs. If you have a pool, make sure t...
More Answers
Can Dirty Laundry Make My Family Sick?
Can Dirty Laundry Make My Family Sick?

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.