When shopping for car seats for kids, you should look for a seat that is safe and convenient. So, in case you need a hand regarding car seats, here are a few safety tips you should keep in mind before taking your little one out on the road.
Car seats can be expensive, so it may seem like a good idea to buy a used one. This is a great idea as long as you know the seat’s history. If you have to buy used, try to buy from someone you know well who would also provide an accurate history. Keep in mind that car seats do expire and should be replaced after their expiration date.
Over 70 percent of car seats aren’t installed correctly, and it’s usually minor mistakes like placement. Parents often prefer to install car seats in the center of the backseat, but it’s best to install them on the opposite side of the driver’s seat for a clear view and security. The seat should also be secure and snug when strapped in and shouldn’t move more than an inch.
Check the car seat’s label to confirm it’s the right fit for your child’s age, height, and weight. Again, check the expiration date. Parents often overlook expiration dates, or they may recycle them overtime. Most car seats last up to six years and should be replaced after that.
Make sure your child’s chest clip lines up under his or her arms and that the harness is just tight enough. If you can pinch the harness, it’s too loose. Your fingers should slip when trying to grab the material. The goal is to make sure the harness strap is snug at the child’s shoulder.
If your child exceeds the car seat’s weight limit, it may be time for a booster seat. Once his or her shoulders are past the harness slots and ears are above the top of the car seat, the child is ready for a booster seat. You can find these in a high back or a backless form. A high back booster may be an easier transition for the little one.
Rear-facing: The best protection for babies is a rear-facing car seat. Rear-facing seats are great for protecting the child’s head, neck, and spine. He or she should remain in a rear-facing seat until at least two years of age.
Front-facing: After your child has outgrown a rear-facing seat (often around two years or older), you can move the child to a forward-facing seat. These are equipped with tethers for extra security, ensuring safety.
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