Baby car seats are essential for keeping your baby or young child safe in case you are involved in an accident. But there are many types of baby car seats to choose from, so how should you go about buying one?
Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.
Why Is a Car Seat Important?
Quite simply, car seats help to keep your child safer when they are in the back of the car. Children cannot properly use adult seat belts safely until they are about 12 years old. A proper car seat that is the right size for your child—and installed properly—can save their life and prevent serious injury in the case of a crash.
Choosing a Car Seat for a New Baby
If you are expecting a new baby, a suitable car seat should be one of your first purchases. The easiest option is to simply visit your nearest baby store and ask them about seats for newborns.
Newborn baby car seats are rear facing, and they are usually used for children up to about 40 lbs. They come in a wide range of styles and there are seats for all budgets, so just make sure you choose one that has suitable safety standards.
Seats have both weight and height limits, so as soon as your child is either too heavy or too tall, you’ll have to change seats.
Different Types of Car Seats as Your Child Grows
Once your child is too big to use their baby seat, you will need to invest in another type of seat to make the transition.
The next type of seat is usually a convertible seat. You can usually start using one of these after your child is one year old, and they can be used either rear-facing or forward facing, but try to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible because it is safer.
After this, you will probably want to invest in a booster seat. Once your child outgrows the convertible seat, a booster seat will lift your child to the right height so they can use the car’s seatbelt.
Some of these have backs, and some don’t. The ones with backs are recommended because they are safer and provide side protection as well. But if you get a backless booster seat, make sure you install it properly.
Whatever type of car seat you are using, always invest in a high-quality product from a trusted manufacturer and follow the instructions exactly. Also, make sure you only use the seat for as long as your child meets the height and weight limits.
Keep Your Child Safe on the Road
Whenever your child gets into your car, make sure they are securely strapped into a suitable car seat. A good car seat can be a lifesaver, and you should never allow your child to be in a car without one.
If you are expecting a new baby, or your baby is quickly turning into a toddler, make sure you find a suitable car seat so that they can travel safely every time they get into the car.