Baby Car Seats - Find The Right Baby Car Seat For Your Child
Buying a car seat for your baby is the loving act of a responsible parent. Baby car seats are essential items for all families with newborns, infants or toddlers - because car seats have the ability to save your child's life should your vehicle be involved in an accident.
Because baby car seats are so important, a lot of tests are carried out on baby car seat brands to make sure they are safe. Any car seat product that is suspected (with good reason) of being unsafe is likely to be recalled (withdrawn from sale, with a message sent out to parents who've bought the product that it should be returned immediately).
Before you choose a baby car seat for your child, you should know how to identify safe products and how to correctly install the car seat in your vehicle.
Car Seat Reviews And Recalls
The internet is the most up-to-date (if not always the most accurate) source of information on any topic, and baby safety is no different. Do a simple internet search for "car seat safety" and you'll find numerous sites containing baby car seat reviews and providing details about product recalls.
While the vast majority of these sites have good intentions, many of them are also contracted to promote the products they're talking about. Of course, that doesn't mean that they ignore the safety issue, but it may take second place to convenient and attractive car seat features.
For the latest official child safety information on car seats in the United States, go to the homepage of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), or of the Juvenile Product Manufacturer's Association (JPMA). Both these organizations provide regular updates on infant car seat recalls. They also recommend certain products - a good indication for you that a baby product is safe. Another good place to look for recommendations for a good car seat is babyproduct-reviews.com. There you'll hear what parents have to say about the various car seats on the market and discover which seat is the safest, the easiest to install, fits well in compact cars, and is the most comfortable for baby.
Baby Car Seat Brands
Again, a quick internet search will produce a list as long as your arm of car seat manufacturers. One brand that is particularly well know and well trusted in the United States is Britax.
Britax produces kids' car seats in various patterns, colors and designs that are suitable for children from birth until they are big enough to fit a normal seat belt. They also make car seat parts and accessories. This company specializes in producing increasingly popular convertible car seats...
Convertible Car Seats
The fancy name for a baby car seat that can convert from a seat in the back of your car to a seat in your baby's stroller is a baby travel system. This type of car seat (or stroller - whichever way you want to look at it) is more expensive than a conventional car seat that suits only one purpose. The convertible seat simply clicks in and out of the stroller frame as needed.
Parents love convertible car seats because they can buy just one item that allows them to take their baby safely for a drive, a walk in the park, or even on a plane. Of course, the collapsible convertible stroller frame takes up less space in the trunk than a whole stroller.
Safe Car Seat Installation
Here are a few pointers for safely setting up your car seat to protect your baby's health.
- Remember that all children need a car seat or a booster seat until they are big enough to fit and adult seat belt properly (generally kids can use an adult seat belt by the time they are eight years old, but if your child is small for his age, this may not be the case).
- Newborns may be safer in non-convertible infant seats that have a sturdy base. They should be resting in the seat at a maximum decline of 45 degrees.
- Rear-facing car seats are safest. Keep your child in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible. Your child's weight is the deciding factor as to whether or not the car seat can face the rear of your vehicle - some car seat brands can accommodate greater weights than others.
- Never place a car seat in the rear-facing position on the front passenger seat if there is a front airbag fitted in the car.
- Five-point harnesses are preferable, and these should fit your child snugly. The car seat itself should fit neatly into your car and you should have no trouble locking the seat belt. Make sure that the clips and fasteners are on your child's body at about the same level as his armpits. Don't have them on his neck or tummy, where they could injure him in an accident.
- Never buy on old seat if you don't know whether or not it meets modern safety requirements. Likewise never buy a damaged seat.
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