How to choose a child's car seat

From birth to a certain age, all children need to be safe while they are in the car. Infants and babies have to sit in the rear-facing car seats. This is actually the best position for their heads and their spines should they be in an accident of some sort. When children are older, they can be seated in the normal, forward facing position. Eventually, children then move on to a booster seat in such a way that the car’s seat belt fits them properly.

Choosing a car seat can be a very complicated matter; each age has different requirements. Car seats can be separated into four categories. Knowing the height, weight, and age will make it easier for you to make that decision. Look for the manufacturer’s label which will give you the weight parameters of the child for which the seat is designed. Also, look for the FAA seal of approval on every certified car seat.

  1. Infant seats – look for the ones that offer maximum use, not just as a car seat. Generally all come with good padding, locking devices, and safety straps.
  2. Convertible Seats – for older children that match the requirement for forward facing. Check for the convertibles that accommodate the most ages. They are of course bigger and heavier than infant car seats.
  3. All in One - These are great as they carry your baby from birth until they reach the booster stage. These are designed to stay in the car. Look for all the features appropriate for infants.
  4. Combination Seats –These are not designed for infants, but are designed for older children who meet the requirement to sit in the forward-facing position. It comes with a safety harness for younger children and then turns into a booster, as they get older. Booster Seats – As the name suggests they boost the children up so they are able to wear the regular car seat. Although you can get other combination sets, you can also buy booster all by itself.

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