Acar seat is important to keep your little one safe during car rides, so makesure you invest in one that will stand up to the rigors of the road. Typically,you can choose from either infant or convertible car seats. Read on to learnmore!
Car Seats 101
Infantcar seats typically carry kids up to 40 pounds and are rear-facing only. Convertiblecar seats, on the other hand, can be used in either the front-facing orrear-facing positions. They can carry babies from birth to anywhere between 40and 80 pounds, depending on the model.
Thereis also another type of convertible car seat, that has three possibleconversion options. One, as a rear-facing seat. Two, as a front-facing seat.And three, as a booster seat for kiddos up to 120 pounds.
Convertiblecar seats are a great investment because they “grow” with your child. It shouldbe mentioned, however, that some experts believe that newborns and infants aresafer in the traditional infant car seat. That being said, if you do decide togo for a convertible infant car seat, make sure that it has plenty of padding to ensure acomfortable and safe fit for your little one.
Anotherthing to note is that convertible car seats tend to be heavier than infant carseats, and they can’t be as easily taken into and out of the car.
Choosing a Car Seat
Thereare a couple of things that you should definitely make sure your new car seathas to ensure your child’s safety.
You’llwant to make sure that your seat has a 5-point harness. That means that thereare straps for each shoulder, for each hip, and one that goes between thechild’s legs. These are crucial for safety, and all new car seats have them.Keep that in mind in case you shop around for a used one.
Aneasy to use car seat will save you a lot of hassle and headache, so check theNational Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s rating system. Theyassign a maximum of 5 stars to a car seat. The more stars a particular seathas, the easier it is to use. Ratings take into account the content and clarityof the user manual, the ease with which the seat can be installed, and how easyit is to secure your baby in the car seat.
Speakingof easy, you’ll want to look for a car seat that has easy to adjust harnesses.Better car seats allow you to change the height of the harness very simply, inthe front of the seat. That will allow the car seat to be super safe, as itscustomized to your kiddo.
Alsokeep in mind another important safety feature. Some car seats will haveside-impact protection, while others don’t have this extra safety feature. Thespecial padding in these better seats will offer additional protection to yourbaby’s head and chest in the event of a car accident.
Youshould also know about the LATCH system that’s been around since 2002. All carseats and vehicles are now compatible with it, meaning that car seats can beattached directly into the cars frame rather than through the use of seatbelts.Always check the manual of your particular car to make sure you’re attachingthe car seat properly. Once your child reaches a particular weight, you’ll needto attach the seat using the seat belt of your car.
Finally,make sure that the car seat you select is comfortable and well-padded to giveyour child a safe ride. You’ll also want to make sure that the seat and fabricare easy to clean. Some car seats come with a detachable washable cover, whichmakes clean up a lot easier.
Some notes on used seats
Althoughyou could technically save money by buying a used car seat, most experts adviseagainst going this route. This is due to the fact that you never know thequality of these seats, or whether they may be missing parts. Likewise, theseat could already have been in an accident, which would compromise its safetyfor your child.
Likewise,older seats often fall short of the current safety standards. The older plasticgets, the more likely it is to become brittle, which means it might break in acrash, something you definitely don’t want to have happen.
Aconvertible car seat is a great investment in your child’s safety. It’s anabsolute necessity when taking your young kiddo along in the car, so make surethat you choose a seat that is durable, safe, and comfortable. With aconvertible car seat, you’re sure to have many years of safe rides.