All infants and toddlers should ride in a Rear-Facing Car Safety Seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat's manufacturer.
Convertible seats and forward-facing seats with harnesses
All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car safety seat, should use a Forward-Facing Car Safety Seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat's manufacturer.
All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a Belt-Positioning Booster Seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet, 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.
When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use Lap and Shoulder Seat Belts for optimal protection. All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the Rear Seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
Used with permission of the American Academy of Pediatrics. For additional car safety seat advice and other children's health information, visit the USAA Educational Foundation Website.