A car seat is critical safety requirement and an essential purchase for your child. In fact, some hospitals will not permit families to leave the hospital after discharge without presenting a car seat. In the U.S, the law and regulations requires that your child should be properly restrained in the seat until they are 7 years of age. If you look at the statistics, you will understand why the rules surrounding this are so tight. Statistics of 2014 indicated that 167,000 children got injuries from automobiles and more than 1000 died. As you shop for a car seat for your child, let these essentials guide you.
1. Five Point Harness systems
A five-point harness system includes two straps, a chest clip, and a crotch strap. Of all other type of seat restraints, these are considered the safest. In the event of an accident, five-point harness systems hold children more effectively as compared to models that have fewer restraints. Furthermore, they provide better control. Also, with this model, your child will not wiggle out of the seat. This model shouldn’t be hard to find since it’s the standard system for most convertible car seats.
2. Weight, and Height Limits
Although each car seat comes with a manual detail with height and weight specifications, some general rules are:
Rear-facing seats are meant for infants and newborns. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children should ride in rear-facing seats for as long as possible. Billings explains that once your child’s head is 1 inch of the top of the car seat, then it means they have outgrown the rear-facing seat. When you notice this change, know it’s time to think about a forward-facing seat. The height should be the ultimate indicator.
Forward-facing seats are for children at least 2-years-old. When a child outgrows the rear-facing seat, they graduate to the forward-facing car seat.
Booster seats are for Children around 8 years of age and over 40 pounds. Children this age should never seat in the front seat of the car. Ensure that the seat belt fits snugly both on the lap and the shoulders.
3. Easily Fits in the Vehicle
Car seats are available in different shapes and sizes thus you should make sure your purchase will properly fit in the vehicle. A car with a large base, for example, may not fit in smaller models of cars. Not only should it slide easily into the car, make sure the seat leaves room for installation.
4. Protection for Head and Side Impact
Good car seats should come with side impact and foam head protection. This addition is critical because head injuries in case of an accident can be severe. In the event of a car wreck, the foam sides cushion your child’s head from force and impact.
5. Go for a New Seat
Though second-hand car seats are readily available in the market, parents should be extremely careful when purchasing them. After about six years, the rubber and foam in a car seat start to wear out which reduces their effectiveness. Besides, if a car seat has been involved in a car wreck, regardless of how minor the wreck was, it shouldn’t be reused. This because the seat may have structural damage that is not obvious to the eye.
Finding the best seat for your child takes thorough window-shopping. Take a peek at the best toddler car seats right here at Best Toddler Car Seats | Top Reviews 2017 – BabyShop.Tips and find the perfect size for your child.