All about car seats
Whatever stage you’re at (whether you’ve just found out you're pregnant, or you’ve got a toddler running around) we know that it can be daunting knowing how to keep your child safe. And nothing is more scary (or confusing) than buying a car seat, especially when so much can go wrong. That’s why we’ve put together some top tips on how to buy a car seat:
Do you know how much your child weighs?
Car seats are grouped by the child’s weight. Age is an indicator, but for maximum safety you need to know how much your child weighs to choose the right seat. You also need to ensure that the seat you have chosen is approved for your vehicle. Take your car with you when buying your seat, no matter where you choose to buy it from, and ask a trained staff member to demonstrate the fitting procedure.
What features should you look out for?
1. Five-point safety harness--> When buying a seat for a child aged from birth to four years check if there is a five-point safety harness. This system fully restrains your child over the pelvic and shoulder areas keeping them firmly secured in every direction.
2. Easy headrest and harness adjustment --> Lets you alter headrest and harness height without having to re-thread the shoulder straps ensuring there are no errors when re-fitting the harness. 3. 3. Deeply padded side wings --> Make sure the seat offer side impact protection, lots of foam padding on the sides of the wings (headrest) and along the sides of the armrest.
Which car seat is best for long term value?
Keep this in mind researching and while your in the store. In a nutshell, is the car seat suitable from birth until the age of four. Your child can remain in the safer rear-facing position until he reaches 13kg (15mths), after which it swivels to point forwards.
Is it practical? Look for the size is it compact, big or small. All consider is your car small or do you have a minivan all things to consider when it comes of the size of the car seat.
Ease of use?
Look at all the pieces in the car seat, is the seat belt easy to use? Are there to many buttons or knobs. Chances are if the car seat is too hard to use while your checking it out in the store and need some assistance from the baby rep you will likely have more trouble once you have baby in tow. Also make sure if your not buy a stroller travel system and a separate stroller and car seat, make sure their compatible.
Which is the most comfortable car seat for babies?
Look for car seats with extra padding and that the straps are smooth (so it doesn't scratch baby). Just because the car seat looks beautiful and stylish (all the moms have it) is it actually comfortable for baby to sit in for a couple of hours.
Important tips to remember:
It’s always best to buy car seats new, because it’s impossible to know whether a seat has been in an accident
Car seats are not one-size-fits-all — it can depend on the size of your back seat. Always keep your receipt
The AAP now recommends that toddlers stay in a rear-facing car seat for the first 2 years, or as long as possible. Luckily car seat manufacturers have stepped up by making rear-facing car seats with higher weight and height capacities
Parents might be tempted to turn the car seat around because their baby’s legs seem squished. You actually don’t have to turn the seat around until your baby’s head is 1 inch from the top of the car seat — and leg space hasn’t been shown to have any bearing on comfort or safety
Always, always, always have your car seat installation checked by a local child passenger safety technician (CPST), which you can typically find by calling your local fire station