Car Seats PDF Print E-mail

Infant-only seats

  • Only can be used rear-facing
  • Used for babies who weigh up to 20 to 22 pounds depending on the model
  • Small and portable and fit newborns best
  • Come with a 3-point harness or a 5-point harness. We recommend the 5-point harness.

Convertible seats

These are bigger and heavier than infant-only seats. Since they can be used in both rear-facing and forward-facing fashion, they can be used longer and for larger children. Thus once your baby outgrows the height and/or weight limit of the infant seat, you will need to purchase a convertible seat.

  • May not fit newborns as well as some infant-only seats. Make sure that your baby can recline comfortably in the seat. Check the car safety seat manufacturer's instructions to be sure that harnesses can be adjusted properly.
  • Are used rear-facing for infants until they have reached at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds (or more depending on model). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be kept in rear-facing seats until they reach the maximum weight and height allowed by the maker of the car safety seat.
  • Can be used forward-facing for toddlers who are at least 1 year of age and weigh more than 20 pounds.

Booster seats (Over 40 lbs. Ages 4-8, unless over 4’9’’)

  • Young children are too small for seat belts and too large for toddler seats. A booster seat raises your child up so that the seat belt fits approximately right—and can better protect your child. The shoulder belt should cross the child’s chest and rest snugly on the shoulder, and the lap belt should rest low across the pelvis or hip area—never across the stomach area. Your child’s ears shouldn’t be higher than the vehicle’s seat back cushion or the back of a high-back booster seat.
  • It is recommended that booster seats be used until your child is taller than 57 inches

Basics of car safety seat use

  • Always use a car safety seat, starting with your baby's first ride home from the hospital. Help your child form a life long habit of buckling up by always using your own seat belt.
  • Read the car safety seat manufacturer's instructions and always keep them with the car safety seat.
  • Read your vehicle owner's manual for important information on how to install the car safety seat correctly in your vehicle.
  • It is recommended that all children ride in the rear seat until 13 years old.
  • Never place a child in a rear-facing car safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle that has an active passenger airbag.
  • The harness system holds your child in the car safety seat and the seat belt or Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system holds the car safety seat in the car. Attach both snugly to protect your child.

Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations

Washington Township Fire Department
1595 E. 86th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46240
phone: 317-252-5233

Carmel Police Department
3 Civic Square
Carmel, IN 46032
phone: 317-571-2500

Fishers Police Department
4 Municipal Drive
Fishers, IN 46038
phone: 317-595-3300

Zionsville Police Department
1075 Parkway Drive
Zionsville, IN 46077
phone: 317-873-5967