If you are like most parents, the safety of your child is one of the most important things in your life. Perhaps one of the best decisions you will ever make will deal with the car seat in which your child rides. One thing is for certain, the car seat will be used more often than almost any other item you purchase. Research is key to finding the perfect car seat for your family’s needs.
Infant Only or Convertible?
There are seats that are designed to be used only for the infant stage. These seats have a removable base that stays in the car while you can remove the actual seat with the baby in it. These seats are wonderful for when your baby falls asleep and you wish for them to stay that way. These seats normally have a lower weight limits than traditional convertible seats and they will only rear face. Another option is a convertible seat from the very beginning. These seats can be used for much longer because they have higher weight limits and can face rear and frontwards. One problem is if you have a smaller newborn, the baby may not fit this seat immediately.
How Long to Rear Face?
Research has shown that facing the rear of a car is best for a baby, now the recommendations have changed to say rear face as long as possible for safety reasons. As a result of these recommendations new car seats have increased the weight limits that can stay rear facing. There are some seats that will rear face until 45 pounds. There are many four year old children that do not weigh that. In some foreign country’s, the child will rear face until they no longer need to be in a car seat.
What About the Older Child?
Once your child outgrows the car seat it is important to make sure that they fit in the adult seat correctly. If they do not, then a booster seat will need to be used. These also come in a wide variety of styles. These seats will need to be used until the seat belt fits your child correctly, otherwise your child is at an increased risk of injury in an accident.
The car seat that you choose may one day save the life of your child. No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, there will be a seat that you can find to fit. If the seat will not install correctly, then find another seat. An improperly installed seat will not protect your child.