Comfort and safety are top priorities when buying items for your child. The perfect car seat is critical to your baby’s safety and can keep them out of harm’s way in case of an accident. There are numerous options available, but there are specific aspects to consider, such as the following.
1. Safety and Legal Issues
Safety is a vital consideration when buying a car seat since the primary goal is to ensure your child is safe when you’re driving. Most countries have agencies that test and evaluate the safety levels of kid-friendly car seats. For instance, the NHTSA regulates, tests, and assigns safety scores to car seats before entering the market. Most importantly, the safety rating must meet the minimum safety standards.
While most brands on the market have undergone rigorous testing and certification, double-checking their certification stamp on the car seat is vital. And like most items, car seats have an expiration date since the materials wear out with time. Typically, a new car seat expires in five to seven years, so it’s prudent to check the date before purchasing.
2. Height and Weight Limits
Height and weight limits are important factors when choosing a car set for your child. Size is critical, especially when your child is below 6.5 lbs. A seat with a secure newborn insert keeps the baby snug to avoid movement. According to the CDC, choosing the right size secures your baby and lowers the chances of death by 71% in case of a car accident.
If you are shopping for a car seat for your newborn, you can go for a convertible car seat or an infant baby seat. Infant car seats tend to be comfier, highly portable, and safer for newborns. However, you can only use them for about 18 months. On the other hand, convertible seats can adapt to your child’s size as they grow, meaning you only buy once, but they are bulkier.
If your baby is uncomfortable in a car seat, few things can calm them down, making your entire journey a nightmare. A great car seat should have sufficient padding and high fabric breathability. In addition, you are better off with a seat that’s easy to clean and maintain. Particularly, the cover should be removable for easier cleaning. Spills, stains, and dirt can make your baby uncomfortable, so you should consider getting additional covers to keep your car seat neat. As far as cleaning and maintenance go, smoother fabrics are easier to clean.
4. Compatibility and Installation
Since the kid’s seat isn’t a permanent fixture, it’ll be in and out of the car, meaning you need an option that is not too complex to install. It helps to ensure the seat will fit perfectly in your car since some huge car seats are incompatible with small cars. Ideally, choose an option with a versatile installation base where you just plug the car seat in and out.
In addition, it’s essential to ensure the car seat is compatible with your stroller. This means you can detach the baby seat from the car and quickly plug it into the stroller. While getting a perfect match for your stroller can be daunting and time-consuming, it’s an essential task since they are among the most frequently used items when you have a baby. Some baby car seats are stroller-compatible, but some models may require an adapter.
5. Essential Add-on Features
Modern Diono car seats come with numerous features, some are essential, and some are nice-to-have add-ons. However, some features are just meant for marketing purposes. Regardless of your preference, ensure the car seat comes with a five-point harness, two shoulder and waist straps, and one between the legs.
Side impact protection enhances the baby’s comfort and safety. Ideally, look for a car seat with air pads or foam to protect your child’s head on both sides. Anti-rebound bars are an essential feature that prevents dangerous movements in case of an accident. LATCH compatibility also facilitates ease of installation without using the car’s seat belts. While it may not be necessary to adjust the straps frequently, non-threading straps help you adjust the shoulder height with the child in the seat.
Buying a car seat for your child is an important decision, and you need to look for several factors to ensure maximum comfort and safety. Make sure to consider compatibility, maintenance, and helpful additional features before choosing a car seat.
Mo Mulla is a work from home dad who enjoys reading and listening to music, He loves being a dad and husband to a growing family. He also loves writing about his passions and hopes to change the world, 1 blog post at a time!