Cars can be inhospitable places for a child. It is a moving object that constantly jostles, speeds up, and stops at the most unexpected times.
Babies are fragile and very prone to injuries, and if you are going to have them travel in a car, you will need to make sure they have the right protection.
Car seats are perfect for this need.
But before you set out and purchase one, you should know the necessary features to look out for. Here are 6 tips for choosing a top-quality car seat for your child:
1. Choose According to Your Baby’s Age and Height
When you purchase a car seat, you should choose according to your baby’s age and height. Car seats are designed differently to accommodate babies of different ages and sizes.
If you choose a car seat that does not fit your child properly, then accidents may occur. Remember that car seats are specialized products.
The baby is supposed to fit snugly into the car seat. There should be no loose space where the baby can slip through.
The car seat should be able to accommodate the child’s size and the straps should be able to hold them in place.
When you purchase a car seat, it is always a good idea to buy a new one instead of a used one.
Although used car seats can be a lot cheaper, they are not made to fit your child’s dimensions and they may not be able to provide the right support.
2. Head and Neck Support is Key
Of all the features that you should look for in a car-seat, head and neck support should be a top priority. Babies are very fragile, and any unforeseen movements in the car can be dangerous.
So when you choose a car seat, make sure that you pick one that has proper head and neck support.
The car seat should be able to keep the child’s head and neck in place no matter what direction the car should go.
This will help prevent any snapping or whipping motions that can injure your child.
3. Quick and Easy Installation
Car seats are usually secured in various ways. Some are secured by strapping the seat belt across it, while others are set in place by tethers and anchors.
It usually depends on the type of car seat and the age of the child.
But no matter what type of car seat you choose, it should have one key feature. It must be as easy to install as possible.
Nothing is more frustrating than taking half an hour to just strap your child’s car seat to your car. It’s a waste of time and effort, and it can lead you to get careless and cut corners.
Which may lead to accidents in the long run.
So if you are going to buy a new car seat, test it out first. Try to install it to a car and check how much time it took to install.
If it takes longer than three to five minutes you should look for something else.
4. Make Sure the Car Seat Can Be Used in Your Car
Before you decide on a car seat, you should check whether it is compatible with your car.
As it was stated earlier, most car seats have specific straps and harnesses. Some have different measurements that may not with your car’s dimensions.
So before purchasing a car seat, you should make sure that it can be used in your car. Take the time to test it and check if the straps and harnesses can be installed properly.
If it’s not a perfect fit, then you should look for another alternative.
Overall it is better to take your time in selecting a car seat than to rush it and regret it later.
5. Choose One That is Easy to Clean
Due to the constant movement of the car, there will be times where your child will get nauseous, and throw up over the car seat. So your car seat should be as easy to clean as possible.
Choose a car seat that uses light and easy to clean material. It should also be machine washable and resistant to stains.
6. Know the Types of Car Seats
If you want to choose the right car seat for your car, you should really know the types of car seats available. That way you will be able to tell which one is the best for you.
Here is a short description of the types of car seats:
- Infant car seat: As the name implies, the infant car seat is designed for infants and can be used by babies up to the age of two. Most car seat’s designs are somewhat similar to a carrier’s and they even have handles for ease of use. They are usually placed in a rear-facing position in the car.
- Convertible car seat: Of all the car seat types, the convertible seat has the most longevity. It can be used by both infants and older children up to the age of 3. It can also be placed in the forward and rear-facing position. Compared to other car seats they are a lot bulkier and harder to install in the car.
- 3-in-1 seat: The 3-in-1 car seat is like a jack of all trades for car seats. It not only has the versatility of the convertible seat but it also has the features of a booster seat which allows the seat belt to fit your child more efficiently. The best 3-in-1 car seats are the ones that combine all these features as seamlessly as possible.
- Booster seat: The booster seat is meant for older kids, and is designed to add a few inches in order for the child to use the seatbelt.
Car seats are an essential tool for keeping your child safe.
With these tips, you’ll know exactly what features to look for before you purchase your very own car seat!