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Statistics show that thousands of kids get injured or lose their lives in car crashes
each year. It is an adult’s responsibility to ensure that children are securely fastened
while traveling in the car. But, with so many types of car seat available today,
it's indeed very confusing to make an informed decision. To make your shopping for
a child car seat easier, read on to find out what you really need.
Car Seat Safety Buying Guide
First, make an accurate measurement of your kid's weight. This information will help
you decide which car seat is suitable and safe.
If you're buying a car seatfor a baby or infant, then you should be looking for
a rear-facing car seat, also known as an infant car seat carrier. It's a law that
infants should ride rear-facing up to the age of one and should weigh at least 20
Convertible car seats are bigger and heavier, and may not be suitable for some newborns.
They function as both rear-facing infant seats and forward-facing seats for older
babies over 20 pounds.
The American Pediatric Association recommends a child stay rear facing until he reaches
the maximum weight and height listed by the manufacturer. The straps and are adjustable
to a child's size, the seat should be moved to the proper position for the weight
and height of your baby. The seat belt should be threaded through the seat belt path.
Older children who have outgrown their forward facing car seats should use booster
seats. These seats are designed for kids who are at least 3 years old and weigh at
least 40 pounds. They use the regular in-car shoulder belts to secure the child.
Backless boosters are fine when used with a seat that provides head support.
Be aware that expensive car seats don't necessarily mean that they're safer than
less pricey ones. The safety level depends on how well your child fits in the seat.
The seat should be correctly installed and fit well in the car. Put your child into
the seat with his normal clothing on. Tighten the seat harness so that it's snug
against your child.
Ensure the car seat is held firmly in place by putting the seat belts from your car
through it. The seat belt should be tight enough to keep the car from moving.
Every new car seat comes with a booklet for proper installation and usage; it's a
good idea to keep it in a safe place for future reference.
You should think twice about getting used car seats as they could be outdated and
might have invisible damage such as cracks in them.
A good and safe car seat should have a label with the date of manufacture and model
number on it. This is especially useful in the event of a product recall.