As a parent who travels a lot doing one errand after another, a car seat is important. Because as you aim to finish your to-do list for the day, you wouldn’t want to be bombarded with concerns like “is my child safely tucked in his seat?” Though the car has seat belts, a car seat is the most prudent way to guarantee the safety of a child. Plus a car seat definitely gives him more comfort because the seat is customized to his size.
In looking for a car seat, the quest, though, isn’t hard at all if your number one concern is safety. Once you are assured of the child’s safety, everything seems to follow easily.
So if you are looking for a car seat for your youngster, below are some of the important considerations you need to look into:
Choose the correct seat for your kid’s age, height, and weight
Not all car seats are the same. Each has its own manual detailing the age, height, and weight specifications of the user.
For infants (usually newborn to 12 months), the best car seat should be rear-facing. This accommodates a baby until his head is within one inch of the top of the seat. The old thinking that a rear-facing seat is ideal until the child reaches 20 pounds is already outdated. Again, the top consideration is the height of the child.
After giving up the rear-facing car seat, a child will then use the forward-facing seat until his shoulders reach the top harness slot. Usually, a child who starts using this kind of car seat has reached two years of age.
Once the child reaches 40 pounds, he can now use the booster seat. It should be placed in the back seat and never in the front seat beside the driver. When the youngster is about eight to 10 years old, he can now use the car’s adult seat belt. But one should still check if both the shoulder and lap belts fit perfectly and hug his body.
Check the size of your car
This is often taken for granted but plays an important factor in considering what car seat best fits the car. In looking for a car seat, one should take note the size of his vehicle. There are few small cars that have very little room in the back seat. This may then give some problems installing convertible types and even rear-facing seats.
Easy harness adjustment
In buying a car seat, it is prudent to opt for uncomplicated instructions. The harness adjustment should be easy to follow yet fits perfectly once done. The seat belt as well should be something not too complicated to buckle up. It is important to note as well that the seat shouldn’t be able to move more than an inch from its position after being installed. This guarantees that the seat is properly fastened.
Before finally getting that car seat, one should have learned to do the following first:
- how to tighten the harness
- how to adjust the height of the harness
- how to recline the seat to allow the child to sleep comfortably
- how to remove and reattach the padding and inserts for the infant
- how to adjust the headrest and any side padding
Easy to clean
Remember, it would be a child who would use the car seat. And more often than not, they tend to be too playful. Opt for seats that is something too easy to clean. A seat made with a smooth fabric is ideal as one could easily wipe clean the dirt.
What’s the best car seat for your child?
Buying your little kiddo a car seat is the most important decision if you are to take him with you on your errands. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for help should you doubt whether the seat looks secure. One reliable site you could visit that employs certified child passenger safety technicians is Cars.com. They can also conduct hands-on tests to check your vehicle’s ability to accommodate the car seat you prefer. Remember, a poorly fitted seat is useless if it cannot do its job to secure your child as you drive miles after miles.
Beauty and comfort as well are not worth the risk in opting for a car seat for your child. Safety should be the number one priority.