For infants and toddlers, safety seats are generally the safest way to travel in cars. And correctly positioning these seats within the car will provide them with the maximum amount of protection in the event of a crash.

The best location for the safety seat is generally considered to be the center rear seat. When the seat is being secured in the car, check to see that the car's seat belt strap fits snugly around it. Be sure also that the safety seat's straps fit snugly to the child.The direction in which the car seat should be placed depends on the child's age. Toddlers can ride facing forward. Infants are best positioned to ride backward so that in the event of a collision the impact will be spread across their backs.

Safety seats should be used until youngsters can no longer fit into them comfortably - generally when they reach about 40 pounds.

At that point the safety seat should be replaced by the car's built-in lap belt and shoulder harness.

In some cases, children are too small for the shoulder harness and it falls across their faces or necks. In these instances, parents should use safety booster seats - never cushions or pillows - to raise children to the correct height.

Do not allow a child to sit on someone's lap with the seat belt around both of them. In the event of an accident, the child will absorb the greatest impact of the crash.