Safer would be happy to inspect your child's seat and show you the proper way to install and use the seat. There are currently Child Safety Seat Fitting Stations in operation statewide, or you can attend a car seat clinic in your area. Some locations require appointments. Please call (505) 856-6143 for more information.
manages an Injury Prevention Resource Center (IPRC) from which you can order educational and promotional items on a variety of safety topics. All materials are provided to the citizens of New Mexico at no charge through funding from the New Mexico Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Bureau. Please use the link to access the IPRC Order Form and allow two weeks for processing of your order.
The law in New Mexico states that all children 5 and 6 years old who have outgrown their car seats have to ride in a booster seat, regardless of how much they weigh. Children under 60 pounds also must ride in a booster seat, regardless of how old they are. Also, children ages 7 through 12 must ride in a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits them properly. How do you know if the adult seat belt fits your child properly? If your child is NOT riding in a booster seat, try this 5-step test:
1. Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?
2. Do the child's knees bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat?
3. Is the lap belt below the tummy, touching the thighs?
4. Is the shoulder belt centered on the shoulder and chest?
5. Can the child stay seated like this for the entire trip? If you answered "no" to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to ride more safely in the car. Riding in a booster seat is more comfortable, too!
Rear-facing only seats are used for infants and toddlers in the rear-facing position only. The rear-facing position supports a child's entire head, neck, and back. It cradles and moves with the child, reducing stress to the neck and spinal cord in a crash. Check the manufacturer's instructions regarding specific height and weight limits of each model.
Convertible seats may be used rear-facing or forward-facing, depending on the age, height, and weight of the child. Most convertible seats can be used rear-facing up to 30 or 35 pounds (check the manufacturer's instructions) and should be considered for infants whose height and weight have exceeded the limits of the rear-facing only seat. Convertible seats should only be used in the forward-facing position for children who are at least one year old and who weigh at least 20 pounds.
Forward-facing only seats should only be used for children who are at least one year old and who weigh at least 20 pounds. There are three types of forward-facing only seats:
Forward-facing only seats with a harness or shield can only be used with the harness or shield. The harness or shield should not be removed. See the manufacturer's instructions for specific height and weight limits.
Combination seats are used with a harness until the child reaches a certain weight specified by the manufacturer. After the child reaches this specified weight, the harness can be removed and the seat can be used as a belt-positioning booster seat.
Booster seats provide a transition from a child safety seat with an internal harness to a vehicle lap and shoulder belt. Most children ages 4-8 do not fit properly into an adult seat belt. A booster seat raises the child up and helps the lap and shoulder belts to fit more comfortably and safely across the child's hips and collar bone. Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt. Recommended minimum and maximum height and weight limits vary, so check the manufacturer's instructions. Backless booster seats can be used in vehicles with head restraints (head rests). These seats are placed flat on the vehicle seat.
High-back booster seats provide head support in vehicles without head rests. Many high-back booster seats have a shoulder belt positioning strap on the side of the seat back.
Harnesses and Vests can be used in vehicles with lap belts only. Some require a tether. Harnesses and vests are often used on school busses.
Integrated child safety seats are seats that come built into some vehicle seats. These seats are not for infants who should be rear-facing. Some integrated seats use a 5-point harness while others are used as belt-positioning booster seats with the vehicle seat belt.
Special needs child restraint systems are for children with needs not met by a conventional child restraint. Determination of the needs and type of child safety seat should be made by a health professional. One common type of special needs seat is a car bed. Car beds are used for small, premature, or medically fragile infants who should ride lying flat.
If you still have questions, please call the manufacturer of your child's safety seat, or call Safer (1-800-231-6145 or 505-856-6143) and speak with a certified CPS technician.