Having a car when you have children is extremely useful- there’s no messing around with unreliable public transport and you can easily get from A to B. However child safety in the car can be a source of worry for many parents. One of the best ways to ensure your baby or child will be as safe as possible is a good car seat; one that’s been properly installed and is appropriate for the height, weight and age of your child. In the unfortunate event of an accident, a suitable car seat which is fastened correctly gives the best chance of survival. Since adult seat belts aren’t suitable for small children, car seat also keeps your child safe on everyday journeys. Here are some of the things to consider when buying a car seat for your baby.
Never Buy Second Hand
A second-hand car seat might look perfectly nice and in good condition, and you might think it’s a good option to save some cash- babies are expensive after all! However, this is one area where you should never skimp. A second-hand seat could have been dropped or damaged in some way that’s not obvious from looking but will affect how it performs. Spend the extra and always buy new.
Learn When to Use Rear facing and When to Use Front Facing Seats
Rear facing seats should be used for newborns and babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children stay in rear facing seats for as long as possible (until they have outgrown the seat). Children must be at least two years old or have reached the maximum height or weight capacity of the car seat to sit in a forward facing version. When your child gets older, a suitable booster seat must be used, since seatbelts do not sit in the right places of children. They should be around eight before using a seatbelt without a booster seat, and even then should always be seated in the back rather than the front passenger seat.
Once you’ve narrowed down your potential car seat choices, be sure to do your research and read plenty of reviews. How did other users get on with it? Have there been any problems or inconveniences other people have mentioned? This could be as minor as the material staining easily, or as serious as the clips being easy for a child to unfasten. Either way, knowing how other parents have gotten on with the seat you want to buy will mean you know exactly what to expect. Then if there’s anything that puts you off you can make a more suitable choice. Reading reviews also gives you an idea about the best seats out there and can give you ideas about ones to look into. For example many found the best convertible car seat: Graco Contender 65.
Take Your Car Into Consideration
Some seats may not fit into small cars. You will also need to keep in mind any other car seats and booster seats you have in the back for your other children. Some people find they need to buy a bigger car as their family continues to grow. Measure the seat, and keep the measurements to hand when you go shopping or check out car seats online.