The first thing your newborn will use after leaving the hospital with you is a car seat. It is an essential child safety equipment and is also a legal obligation. Use of car seats for babies may prevent car crash injuries and deaths of many children. If this is not convincing enough, here is the statistic for you. In 2014, 167,000 children were injured due to car accidents and more than 1,000 died in the United States. In fact, car accidents are one of the leading death causes for children under 9 years of age. The reason is children are not rightly restrained.
A car seat should be in accordance with your child’s age, weight, and height. Further, it should rightly adjust in your vehicle. Do check the manuals of your vehicle and car seat to make sure you have correctly installed the car seat.
- Infant Car Seat
An infant car seat can be used for babies of and about one year and weighing 20 to 35 pounds. They must always be rear-facing. They are portable and can either be strapped into the car directly or into a base or removed without unbuckling and waking up a sleeping baby. The carriers of infant seats can also be snapped onto a stroller base. Thus, if you are shopping for an infant car seat, make sure to look for one that is adjustable with your stroller.
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- Convertible Car Seat
These seats are a good return on investment and can be used since the time of birth until your child outgrows the seat. Convertible car seats can be installed either as a rear or forward-facing seat. These car seats are not portable and cannot be snapped onto a stroller; instead, they will remain fixed in the car.
- Booster Seat
Booster seats replace convertible seats once your kid has outgrown the size of a convertible seat. These seats are to be used in a forward-facing position. You can either use the seat’s own buckles or harness or use your vehicle’s lap and shoulder belts to fasten your child when he/she is sitting in the booster. Minimum requirement of weight to use a booster seat differs from 30 – 40 pounds depending upon the seat model you are choosing.
The good news is you can use a booster seat for your child until he/she is old enough to not require a car seat anymore. Since the minimum age requirements for infant car seats are increasing, it is certain that you can use a booster seat for a good amount of time.
To be certain about your child’s comfort, you must try the car seat out before making a final purchase. Make sure to transport your child only in a car seat until he/she is 4 feet 9 inches or between 8 to 12 years.