Chances are if you are looking for a family vehicle you have kids in a car/booster seat. You may already have one but if you are bringing that baby home for the first time, you may still be looking for one. You need a safe car AND a safe car seat for your little one!
Baby car seats can prevent serious injury to your child in the event of an accident. It is the law that all children under the age of twelve should be seated in the back seat. This is especially true if you have airbags in the front.
From the time you bring your baby home from the hospital, s/he should be placed in an appropriate car safety seat. Infants must be in a rear-facing infant only seat or an appropriate convertible seat until s/he weighs twenty pounds or reach the age of one. After twenty pounds and after the first birthday, toddlers can use a forward-facing seat until they reach approximately forty pounds or their ears reach the top of the car seat.
Over forty pounds, a child must be in a seatbelt positioned booster seat.
Your car seat belts should not be used by a child under the age of eight unless they are four feet nine inches tall. A booster seat should be used until then. There are many different types of booster seats are available.
Your child should be appropriately restrained at all times. Your child will not be ready to use regular seat belts until the shoulder strap fits across the shoulder, not the neck. The lap belt must fit across the hips and not his stomach.
When installing car seats the manufacturers directions must be followed exactly. if you don’t have them call the company for a replacement. The car seat will have a label which will have the manufacturer, the address, and the phone number. It will also show the name of the car seat. You must have this information to get a replacement. If there is no label on the seat do not purchase it. It could be a seat that was damaged in a car accident.
If you are purchasing the car seat second hand, inspect it thoroughly. Check all the belts for fraying, all fasteners for cracks, and the padding of the seat to be sure it is not ripped or torn. Always check to see if there is a label on the seat, it will have the information you need if there is no manual available. Ask questions such as has this seat been in a crash?
If so, do not purchase it. It may look fine but its safety may have been compromised. There could be a misalignment of the frame resulting in your child’s safety being compromised.
No matter what type of seat you purchase, and there are many, consider how much you can spend. If expense is a concern a convertible travel system may be in order. A rear-facing car seat can be used as a front facing car seat until the appropriate age. There is a base that remains in the car. The infant/toddler car seat then can be attached to a stroller frame and later it can reattach to the base that’s in the car. Check out your options and consider what will be best as far as expenses are concerned. Do your research and determine what will be best for you and your child. Always, the first concern should be the safety of your baby from day one.
It is important to know what type of seat your vehicle will accommodate.
Your car owners manual or a dealer will be able to tell you what is compatible with the vehicle you own. It is an overwhelming choice to make but begin looking for a car seat when you find out you are expecting. A well-informed choice will keep your baby safe.