When it comes to your child's in-car safety, you would want to make the right decisions to ensure that your kid is protected as best as you can. Read on to discover some tips to find the best car seats for your kids.
Child car seat is of utmost importance to keep a child passenger safe. A research conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States finds that the risk of a child dying in a car accident decreases by 71% when the child is properly strapped in a car seat. And a usual seatbelt in many cases is not suitable for young children because it is designed for adults and it can cause serious injuries to kids.
Though a child car seat is essential, buying one is probably a daunting task. There are a million different child car seats on the market, and what is the right one for your kid? After shortlisting some potential ones, now you look at all the latches, belts, and buckles, and wonder how the hell you can install and fit one in your car.
Before you start going down the spiral of spending hours and hours searching for the right child car seat, you should read this simple guide to help you make a better decision more easily.
Sometimes you can be confused as to which type of car seats is most suitable for your children
1. Know which car seat is for your child
Prior to going down to the nearest supermarket and starting ransacking for the best car seat, you should know the following things about your child: (1) age, (2) weight, and (3) height. The reason for this is that there are 4 types of car seats, each of which is catered towards a different group of children. The details are as follows:
Rear-facing child safety seat: Children less than 2 years old
Forward-facing child safety seat: Children from the age of 2 to 4 and less than 40 lbs (18 kilograms)
Belt-positioning booster seat: Children from the age of 4 to 8 or shorter than 4 feet 9 inches (145 centimetres)
Seat belt: Children more than 8 years old and/or taller than 4 feet 9 inches (145 centimetres)
One way to check if your child is ready to use the usual seat belt or not is to see whether (1) the shoulder belt is on the chest and (2) the lap belt is on the upper thighs. Until both criteria are met, your child still has to use a booster seat.
Each of the four types of child safety seats is designed for children of different age, weight, and height
2. Decide on a child safety seat
The 4 types of child safety seats mentioned above are only a general guide; when going shopping for a child car seat, you should also read the manufacturer’s manual to know if there is anything special or different about a particular product.
The first thing you should look for when considering a car seat is whether it meets the safety standard. If one child safety seat looks very avant-garde and pretty but it is not able to protect your child then it is not even worth your time.
When you go to the mall to buy child safety seats, it is highly recommended that you take your child with you so the staff can assist you with the filtering and choosing process.
Some small notes to take in mind are:
Never ever (!!!) buy a used child safety seat. You do not know the actual quality of the seat and you may very well be putting your own kid in danger. A used seat may save you a couple of bucks but may not save your child. It is up to you to decide which one is your priorities.
If it is possible, choose a child car seat that has a five-point harness, because it can secure to the car and protect your child better than a seat with three-point harness or a usual seat belt.
Bring your kid with you to help with the shopping process
3. Know when to change into a different seat
One child safety seat does not last from when the child is just an infant until he/she becomes an adolescent, so it is obvious that you need to know when is the time to transition to a different child seat or to throw away the child seat forever.
As mentioned above, a baby from the moment he/she is born to when he/she turns 2 years old has to sit in a rear-facing child safety seat. There are some convertible rear-facing car seat that can be used after the child is 2, and if you are interested in such kind, you should check the manufacturer’s manual. Some kids may not be transitioned to a different type of seat as the general guide or the manufacturer’s manual dictates, and that is totally normal. Each child grows at various rates, so the parents need to be mindful of their baby’s actual weight and height rather than his or her age to decide whether to transition or not.
Your child’s transition to a different type of seat mainly depends on his/her height and weight