It is important to keep little bodies secure inside of vehicles. Part of being a parent is making sure our children are in appropriate restraints whilst a vehicle is in motion. But, which car seat is right for your child? The answer depends on many factors, such as the type of vehicle you have and the height, weight, and age of your child. It’s no wonder that many parents find the process overwhelming when there are a vast number of products on the market. Use this buying guide to help narrow down your search.
What Size Should You Buy?
1. Infants, aged from newborn to two years old, need rear-facing and rear-facing convertible seats. This seat should accommodate them until at least two years of age or until they begin to exceed the height and weight limits of the seat.
2. Toddlers and pre-schoolers, aged three to four, need forward-facing seats with harnesses until they exceed the height and weight limit of the seat.
3. Primary school children, aged four to eight, should use a booster seat until the adult seat belt fits them properly. They need to be in a belt-positioning booster seat until they reach a height of four feet and nine inches.
4. Older children, aged eight to thirteen, who are at least four feet and nine inches tall, should always ride in the back seat using an adult seat and lap belt with or without the belt-adjusting device.
Child Car Seat Safety Tips
As of the year 2014, there have been new rules regarding seat belts and LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). LATCH is an attachment system for car seats with lower anchors and a tether that improves the safety that car seats provide. The LATCH system is crucial to the safe use of rear-facing infant seats. If you do not have the LATCH system and especially if your model is an older one, consider using the locking clip to ensure the seat belt stays in place. Also, remember to fully extend the seat belt and then allow it to retract after installing the car seat, to lock the belt in its tightest position.
The safest place for your child is in the back seat, and if possible, in the middle seat. The middle back seat is still the best place for installing a car seat. Keep your little ones safe by purchasing the right car seat for their size, age, and weight and one that is made for your make and model of vehicle. By doing so, and correctly installing it, you will ensure the safest trip for your children.