Buying a car seat is one of the most important purchases you will make for your child, and it is best to know the considerations that you should make when choosing. Using a car seat that is suitable for your child’s age and size is essential, so here are some tips to help you choose the best car seat for your child.
- Check your car’s manual.
Consult the manual to determine where the car seat should be installed and how it should be placed. Doing this before shopping for car seats will ensure that you will get the best car seat based on your car’s specifications.
You can also use the assistance of Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians to check if the seat is correctly placed. You can find them in fire stations, police stations, and hospitals. You can easily look for one within your location.
- Select a seat that is appropriate for your child’s height, weight, and age.
Each car seat has its specifications for the proper age, height and weight it can accommodate. Here are some guidelines.
- Rear-facing seats.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends this type of baby capsule for infants and newborns. You will know that your children is done with this kind of seat when their head is an inch away from the top of the seat. Not all children who turn 12 months and reaches 20 pounds are ready to change into a forward-facing seat, as what most people believe.
- Forward-facing seats.
This is suitable for children at least two years old or those who have reached the weight or height capacity of rear-facing seats. They are ready for a booster seat when the top of their ears is above the top of the seat or when their shoulder level is already above the top harness slot.
- Booster seats.
When kids weigh more than pounds, this seat is most suitable for them. Most eight-year-olds are ready to switch into the adult seat belt without using a booster in the car’s back seat. You must never allow your child to sit in the front seat. Ensure that the shoulder and lap belts fit snugly.
- Check the space in the back seat.
It may be difficult to fit a car seat that comes with a broad base into a small car. If you do have a cramped space at the back, choose a car seat with a narrow base. Consider the people who will be occupying the back seat.
How many kids will use car seats? Ensure to take measurements before shopping. Bring along a measuring tape when buying so you can easily measure the seat base.
- Easy installation.
Choose a car seat that has clear instructions on installation. It would be better if the written instructions also came with a diagram. To ensure proper installation, consult both the diagrams on the instruction booklet and on the seat itself.
Expectant parents should have the seat installed before the baby is ready to come home from the hospital. The best way to ensure that the seat is installed correctly is to consult a CPS technician. Check out this website for car seat tips and installation.
- Inspect the belt path.
Choose a car seat that allows easy access to the belt path and after installation, ensure that the seat belt is correctly fastened and secure. You will know that this is securely fastened when you take the seat from the part where the belt enters the belt path and push the seat sideways, the seat should not be movable by more than an inch.
- Select a seat that features two-piece retainer clips.
These clips are suggested because they are difficult for kids to unhook. Two-piece clips require some ingenuity, and without these, toddlers may easily unlatch them and climb out of the seat on their own.
- Choose one with handy harness adjusters.
Seat harnesses are all adjustable, but you want to ensure that these are simple to use and easy to reach. Incorrect harness adjustment makes the seat ineffective during accidents.
- Choose a safety seat that is simple to clean.
Seats made with a smooth fabric will let you wipe clean dirt easily compared to textured fabric.
Car accidents are usually fatal for small children but having a car seat that is perfect for your kid’s age and size is crucial. Ensure that the seat is installed properly to guarantee its effectiveness in cases of accidents. Choosing the appropriate car seat will give you peace of mind as you travel with your little ones.