Child car seats are necessary for any vehicle. But there is a lot of discussions when it comes to choosing a safe product. There are many criteria based on which you can choose a car seat. Find out everything about them in this article.
In the modern world, children travel by car almost as often as adults, but at the same time, they are more defenseless and vulnerable in transport. A child’s fragile body reacts more sensitively to high-speed maneuvers and sudden braking, not to mention emergencies and accidents. Therefore, the priority for all parents is to ensure the safety of their children on the road. Does a child need a car seat? The answer is obvious. It’s also the law.
The most effective way to protect children in various dangerous situations on the road is to use a special child car seat. Each of you wants to buy the best car seat, but there is no best seat for all children. However, you can easily find the perfect car seat for your child.
How to use an infant car seat without a base? How long to use a child car seat? How to put a car seat for an infant? In this article, we’ll show you how to choose a good child car seat and what points to look out for first. Stay tuned to find out more.
Table of Contents
Car Seat Weight Groups
First of all, determine which seat is right for your child. Having measured the child’s weight, you can easily determine the group accordingly. Choosing the age and, often, the child’s height is important because all children are different in their external parameters.
When choosing a car seat for an infant, you should also consider how much time they will have to spend in the car. For short trips, look for Group 0+ seats. Although they are all designed for children weighing up to 13 kg, the seats are not the same in size. Different models are more or less spacious. You can use some models for up to a year, and the others need to be changed more often depending on how fast your baby grows.
Choosing a Seat for 0-1-years old Children
Also, remember that infants should be transported facing backward for as long as possible, and this rule must be observed for at least a year until the baby’s neck gets stronger, and they learn to sit well.
If a baby under six months of age has to endure long trips, look at the seats of group 0 (or combined groups 0/0+, 0/0+/1 of child car seat age) to transport the baby while lying down. Take this purchase very seriously or refrain from traveling long distances with a child less than 6 months of age.
How to use a car seat for an infant safely?
In infants, motor nerves and muscles are still poorly developed; the ligaments of the neck have not strengthened. As a result, the neck is fragile and weak. At the same time, the head is heavier than all other parts of the body, and its weight is a quarter of the infant’s body. Please note that the child in the chair of group 0 (as well as combined groups) must be fixed with wide and soft inner straps, and additional protection must be placed around the baby’s head.
Choosing a Seat for 1-3-years old Children
Which car seat is best for toddlers? Car seats for children weighing up to 40 lbs (18 kg) (groups 0, 0+, and 1) have internal seat belts. Take a close look at the buckle. It is important that it does not look fragile and is designed so that the child cannot release it himself. The cloth lining in the buckle-lock area should be wide and dense so that the lock does not injure the baby’s lower abdomen in case of a possible impact.
Also, notice how comfortable the shoulder and neck straps are. Children under three (and some older) often sleep during travel. Therefore, it is important to have separate car seat baby positions for sleep and wakefulness; in other words, it is convenient if the chair’s backrest can be tilted. This option is quite common, but the range of adjustments depends on the manufacturer.
Of course, each additional feature adds a price to any car seat model. But in the operation process, it turns out that all these functions are not excessive and are worth their money. Therefore, a proven brand in child safety a guarantee of the right choice. Also, Home Maker recommends a thorough study or real-life reviews.
Choosing a Seat for 3+ years old Children
To determine if your child has grown out of the car seat they are currently using, look at the following metrics.
For group 1 and above. If the head is protruding beyond the backrest’s upper edge by more than a third and/or the exit points of the inner harness are below the child’s shoulder.
For rear-facing child car seat. The inner harness’s exit points can be located just below the child’s shoulder, but the head must not protrude beyond the top of the backrest. We strongly recommend, if possible, not to buy used chairs, especially from strangers, since it is not known whether it has been in an accident.
Even the slightest accident can deform the car seat frame, which can no longer be considered a safe device. If you seriously care about your child’s safety, do not allow yourself to save on it!
Although many seats are called universal, they may still not fit the profile of your car’s seats, and the length of the seat belt may not be enough to secure them. The Isofix seat passport lists the car models for which this seat fits. Make sure your car model is listed.
Please note that the presence of an Isofix mount in a car may also depend on the equipment of a particular model. The simpler the method of securing the child’s car seat, the more chances that each member of your family will correctly install the car seat if necessary.
Pay attention to whether the car seat has side head and shoulder protection, which increases the child’s safety in the event of a side impact. When installing a rearward-facing car seat on the front seat, be sure to deactivate the front passenger airbag. Otherwise, transporting a child in the front seat is prohibited.
If possible, we recommend only installing a child seat in the rear seat, which is the safest in the car. Check to see what material the chair’s upholstery is made of, whether completely removable for washing (almost all manufacturers meet this condition). Pay attention to accessories, first of all – to sunshade cover (so that the child does not harm the head) and front seat covers (so that children do not get them dirty with shoes).
Remember that choosing a safe child car seat is only the first step; you need to make your efforts to feel comfortable with your children. Be responsible for installing the seat and focus on driving safely – then traveling with children will be safe and successful.
What kind of car seat do you prefer? What is the most important feature for you?
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson is a happy mother of two children. Together with her husband, they love to organize family travel and explore many beautiful places altogether. In her spare time, Rachel does sports and writes travel recommendations with children.