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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Ankeny)

1055 Southwest Oralabor Road
Ankeny, IA 50023

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Jordan Creek)

180 Jordan Creek Pkwy
West Des Moines, IA 50266

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Waukee)

950 E Hickman Rd
Waukee, IA 50263

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Altoona

2720 8th Street Southwest
Altoona, IA 50009

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ankeny Medical Park

3625 North Ankeny Boulevard
Ankeny, IA 50023

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Ingersoll

2103 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Merle Hay

4020 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Southglen

6520 Southeast 14th Street
Des Moines, IA 50320

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Urbandale

5200 NW 100th Street
Urbandale, IA 50322

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Blank Children's Hospital

For Caregivers:

As children grow, how they ride in a vehicle should change. Keep your child safe by following best practice guidelines. View the Iowa Law vs. Best Practice Flyer or review the information below.

Steps to child passenger safety:

  • Rear Facing
  • Forward Facing
  • Booster Seats
  • Vehicle Seat Belt

Rear-Facing

Children should ride rear-facing until the maximum weight or height limit of their car seat. At a minimum, per Iowa law, a child must stay rear-facing until 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds - both criteria, not one or the other.

 

Direction in Vehicle

Lower Weight Limit

Upper Weight Limit

Harness Strap Position

Harness Strap Tightness

Chest Clip

Installation Angle

Rear-Facing Only (infant carrier)

 

This seat can ONLY rear-face in a vehicle.

Most lower weight limits for infant carriers is 4-5 pounds.

The upper weight limit of infant carriers can range from 20 to 35+ pounds.

Put the harnesses through the slots so they are even with or below the child's shoulders.

Be sure the harness is snug, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the child's shoulder.

Adjust the chest clip to the armpit level every trip.

Install your child's car seat rear-facing at the angle determined by the manufacturer. Locate and use the recline indicator on your seat.

Convertible

This seat can rear-face or forward-face in a vehicle, depending on the child's age and weight.

Most lower weight limits for convertible seats is 4-5 pounds.

The upper weight limit of rear-facing convertible seats can range from 40-50 pounds.

Put the harnesses through the slots so they are even with or below the child's shoulders.

Be sure the harness is snug, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the child's shoulder.

Adjust the chest clip to the armpit level every trip.

Install your child's car seat rear-facing at the angle determined by the manufacturer.  Locate and use the recline indicator on your seat.

Forward Facing

When children outgrow their rear-facing seats, they should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat with a harness system until they reach the upper weight or height limits of their seat. 

 

Direction in Vehicle

Lower Weight Limit

Upper Weight Limit

Harness Strap Position

Harness Strap Tightness

Chest Clip

Installation

Convertible

This seat can rear-face or forward-face in a vehicle, depending on the child's age and weight.

Most lower weight limits for convertible seats is 5 pounds.

The upper weight limit of forward-facing convertible seats can range from 40-85 pounds.

Put the harnesses through the slots so they are even with or above the child's shoulders.

Be sure the harness is snug, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the child's shoulder.

Adjust the chest clip to the armpit level every trip.

Use a top tether if your vehicle and car seat are both so equipped.

Forward-Facing Combination

This seat can ONLY forward-face in a vehicle.

Most lower weight limits for combination seats is 20 pounds.

The upper weight limit of combination seats with a harness can range from 40-90 pounds.

Put the harnesses through the slots so they are even with or above the child's shoulders.

Be sure the harness is snug, so you cannot pinch extra webbing at the child's shoulder.

Adjust the chest clip to the armpit level every trip.

Use a top tether if your vehicle and car seat are both so equipped.

Booster Seats

Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats with a harness, they should ride in a booster seat. Booster seats MUST be used in a seating position that has a lap AND shoulder belt. Never use a booster seat with a lap belt only seat belt.

 

Direction in Vehicle

Lower Weight Limit

Upper Weight Limit

Seat Belt Position

Difference Between a High Back and Low Back

Installation

High Back Booster

This seat can ONLY forward-face in a vehicle.

Most lower weight limits for high back boosters is 40 pounds.

The upper weight limit of high back booster seats can range from 80-120 pounds.

The shoulder belt should cross the child's collar bone and the lap belt should cross the child's upper thighs.

A high back booster must be used if there is no vehicle head support for your child when they sit on the booster.

Booster seats  sit on the vehicle seat. Buckle the seat belt even when the booster is not in use, unless your booster is equipped with lower anchor attachments.

Backless Booster

This seat can ONLY forward-face in a vehicle.

Most lower weight limits for backless boosters is 40 pounds.

The upper weight limit of backless booster seats can range from 80-120 pounds.

The shoulder belt should cross the child's collar bone and the lap belt should cross the child's upper thighs.

A backless booster can be used if there is vehicle head support for your child when they sit on the booster.

Booster seats  sit on the vehicle seat. Buckle the seat belt even when the booster is not in use, unless your booster is equipped with lower anchor attachments.

Vehicle Seat Belt

A child can move out of a booster seat once they successfully pass the Five Step Test. 

Can the child:

  • Keep their back against the vehicle seat without slouching?
  • Keep their knees naturally bent over the edge of the vehicle seat?
  • Keep their feet flat on the floor?
  • Have their lap belt lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach?
  • Have the shoulder belt lie snugly across the shoulder and chest, not across the neck or face?