The Basics of Car Seat Buying: 5-Step Guide
No matter how much information is available on child restraint safety, it is surely not enough. There are several things you would need to consider when selecting the car seat for your little one.
Know your Options
There are usually three options when it comes to infant car seats until it outgrows the height or weight allowed by the manufacturer or surpassing the specified age. Riding in a rear-facing car seat ensures a maximum of protection for your child’s head, neck, and spine in case of a crash. These options are:
- Only Car Seats- Most of the seats are portable and can be used as a baby carrier or in a stroller, while the base stays in the car.
- Convertible Car Seats- These are comparatively larger than the car seats for infants. They can be used as rear-facing and then can be turned to face forward when the child is ready. They are not portable and stay in the car, and are suitable for children weighing from 4 to 50 lbs.
- 3-in-1 Car Seats- This car seat can be used as rear-facing, forward-facing, and as a booster. It is heavy and cannot be carried from car to car.
Consider Your Budget
There is no second thought that safety is a priority when it comes to your child. However, you need to understand that spending more does not imply a safer seat. All the car seats come with the same safety standards. While they look different, all of them do the same job, of protecting the child. More expensive seats might imply additional features but not more protection. This neither means that you save money by buying a used car seat. You cannot be sure if all parts are intact and that the seat has never faced the shock of a crash.
Check the Fit
Car seats do not come in free size. The size of the seat should depend on several factors one of them being the size of the vehicle. Look in your back seat to determine where you can place the car seat. You might also want to install the car seat and compare the dimensions with those of the base of the car seat you wish to buy. Test the seat before buying it.
Install the Car Seat Correctly
Check the car’s owner manual and the instructions that come with the car seat. Generally, there are two options to attach your car seat to the car:
- Use either the seat belt or the car’s LATCH system and pay close attention to detail.
- You can use each differently for rear-facing and forward-facing seats.
Use the Car Seat Correctly
The last crucial step is ensuring that your child is properly secured in the seat. Adjust the harness so that the straps come from the right slot and are tight enough that you cannot pinch any extra webbing once the child is buckled.
Buy Dependable Gear For Your Little One
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