Choosing the right seat for your child is a big decision. You’ll want it to look good in your vehicle but at the same time it needs to offer a high level of protection.
The problem is once you start looking you’ll quickly find there are hundreds of terms which can make it very confusing.
This is why it is essential to look here and read reviews on all the different seats available. Fortunately the simple fact is that all car seats have to be manufactured to meet the same safety standards. This means that any car seat will do; providing you stick to the following guidelines:
Never buy Secondhand
While this is a cheaper option there is a risk you are buying a seat which has been damaged or is less effective due to age.
Unless you can be 100% certain that the seat has not been in an accident it is not worth taking the risk.
Know Your Vehicle
You will hear the term Isofix. This refers to a child seat that is specially designed to fit into slots in your vehicle. It can make it easier to fit and generally ensures the seat is held securely in position no matter what happens.
However, there is no point in purchasing one of these unless you have an Isofix fixing system in your car.
It is recommended that children under the age of 2 are kept in a rear facing child seat. This helps to ensure the load is spread and kept away from your child; even if you are involved in a crash.
You’ll need to check the legal requirement in your state regarding the age that your baby must be kept in a rear facing seat; but 2 is the best for safety.
Keeping Them In A seat
As your children grow they may not want to sit in a child seat but it is important to keep using one until they are taller than 4ft 9 inches. At this point the standard seatbelt will protect them without causing them additional injury if you do crash.
In general a child should stay in a rear facing seat until they are at least 22 pounds and can support their own head.
Having established that all child car seats must meet a certain standard it is important to think about the practical side of your seat ownership. For example, will it be staying in your car or will you need to change it between vehicles often?
Some car seats have built in drink holders; is this something that your child will appreciate or not?
The pattern and style of the seat will vary according to the manufacturer. Will this go with your vehicle and will the seat fit into the back of your car? This can be a particular concern if you only have a small vehicle.
It is also worth considering the seat covering. There will be spills, can you wipe it clean or can you remove it easily and wash it?
Once you have the answers to these questions you’ll find it very easy to choose the right car seat for your baby or child.