· Rear-facing infant seats and convertible seats
· Forward-facing child seats
· Booster seats and backless boosters
Each one of these is of a different size and meant for a different age group.
Rear-facing infant seats and convertible seats:
Rear-facing infant seats are primarily meant for babies weighing 22lbs (about 10 kilograms) i.e. for newborns to 1 year olds. It is advisable to fit these seats in the rear seat of the car due to safety reasons. Few varieties contain some extra features that may enhance safety or make it easier to use them.
Another type of child seat offered by car manufacturers is the convertible seat that can be used for kids with greater height and weight. The convertible can be transformed into a forward-facing seat for the child after he attains a suitable height or weight. A LATCH system and/or seatbelts are used to fix the infant and convertible seats to the car.
Forward-facing child seats:
Forward-facing seats are suitable for children who weigh more than 20lbs and are above the age of 1 year. These types of seats are most suitable for the back of the car where the seat is held in place by a LATCH system or a seatbelt. This type of seat must never be installed in the front of the car if it contains a passenger side air bag.
Booster seats are used when the height of the child’s head is more than that of the seat or his/her weight surpasses the car manufacturer's weight limit. Children between four and six commonly need booster seats. The purpose of booster seats is to elevate the child so that adult seatbelts can be used to secure the child, thereby distributing force evenly in the event of a crash.
Once the child reaches the age of six or can sit straight up by himself he can move to a backless booster seat from a full booster seat. A backless booster seat is nothing but a regular standard booster seat without its backrest. Convertible booster seats are also available that can be changed from one that includes a backrest to backless.
A new system called Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) does away with the necessity to use seatbelts. The system, however, works only when an anchor system is in place in the car.