Child Seat Guide: How to Choose the Proper Child Car Seat
January 10, 2013
Every time you take your car out for a spin, you have to remember to make passenger safety a priority. You may have the latest-generation car audio system or a cool customized tailfin, but these won’t guarantee that you’ll arrive at your destination in one piece. Motor vehicle crashes can cost you more than just money for repairs—it can claim your life and limbs too.
As a car owner or parent, you should know to be aware of child car seat laws in your area. It is not enough to simply buckle in your youngster in the shotgun seat; you will need to purchase a proper child car seat that will really protect your little one, should you become involved in a vehicular accident.
Check out this child seat guide to help you ensure your child’s safety:
- Before purchasing a car seat, talk to the manufacturer about the seat’s specifications so that you will know immediately if it will fit in your car. Safety is your top priority, but comfort should not be sacrificed. Inquire about the return policy in case you need to have it switched with a different model.
- Do not allow your child to sit shotgun until they are at least 12 years old or almost five feet in height. In fact, it’s more advisable to have your kid sit in the back instead of up front with you to increase their chances of survival in case of a crash.
- Seat your baby in a rearward-facing car seat for as long as possible, unless they outgrow it by height first. Do not place the car seat on the front passenger seat if your car comes with an airbag feature for that side of the vehicle.
- Before driving off, make sure that the harness fits snugly (but comfortably) on your child, that the car seat fits snugly in your vehicle, and that all seat belts are locked tight.
- Check if the car seat you want to buy complies with the latest safety standards.
- Read and understand the usage instructions before testing the car seat with your child in it. You may encounter difficulties regarding fitting the seat properly in your car, so be sure to discuss any issues with the retailer as early as possible.
- Avoid purchasing second-hand child car seats. You don’t know the history of these seats, like whether they have been previously involved in a car accident. Moreover, they may already come with hairline cracks or damage that may put your child in danger in case of a crash. Old car seats do not comply with current safety standards, so you will have less assurance of their reliability and functionality.
Getting the most suitable child car seat is a matter of familiarizing yourself with a variety of factors, such as your child’s age, weight, height, your car’s dimensions, and the car seat’s specifications . All these will help you keep your child safe even as you go on long road trips. Before any long road trip it is important to have your vehicle professionally detailed.