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How To Buy An Infant Car Seat
Travelling with an infant or baby can be stressful-experience in-case you’re a new parent and you don’t have an infant car-seat. So it is best to ensure that you get the safest car-seat available for your baby/infant in order to provide them with optimum protection while sitting in the vehicle. In fact, there are different types of infant car-seats that you can purchase depending on your taste and preference but most of all you should get a car-seat provides optimum safety. Likewise, there are also many factors to consider when shopping for an infant car-seat and some of these factors have been listed below:
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SECTION-1: HOW TO BUY THE BEST CAR-SEAT FOR YOUR INFANT/BABY:
- Select the right size and style of a car-seat: there are actually 2-kinds of car-seats available for infants/babies on the market today. These include infant car-seats which only last for the infant-stage but are considered to be safer for babies and convertible car-seats which can last for few years while accommodating your little-child as he/she grows from the infant-stage, toddler-stage and then preschooler stage. Additionally, infant car-seats are meant for only babies and will always be rear-facing in your vehicle-seat while convertible car-seats will be rear-facing for at least 1 or 2 years of the baby’s life and then the car-seat will be converted into a toddler-seat.
- Buy a car-seat before the baby/infant is born: parents actually need to acquire a car-seat in order to transport the baby in any moving vehicle once it’s born. In fact, if you’re taking your baby/infant home from hospital, then the nurse discharging you will most likely need to confirm that have acquired and properly installed a car-seat into your vehicle. On the other hand, in case you’re taking your baby home in a taxi, then you will still need a car-seat for the little-child to safely and legally travel in the taxi.
- Purchase a lightweight car-seat: try buying an infant car-seat that is lightweight and easy-to-carry around when it’s uninstalled from the vehicle. Likewise, you should even consider the weight of the baby because adding the baby to a car-seat will increase on the weight to carry around. Additionally, removable car-seats are designed with handles for carrying but you should try testing-out these handles in order to test-out how comfortable they feel in your hands.
- Checkout the car-seat material if the baby has allergies: in case you’re purchasing a car-seat for baby who is already born, then first consider if your baby has any allergies to certain materials before a buying an infant car-seat. However, most babies are not affected by allergies seat-materials but incase the baby is particularly sensitive then you may need to consider the material of a car-seat before making a purchase. On the other hand, if you’re purchasing an infant car-seat before the baby is born, then you may not consider following this step.
- Buy a car-seat that is easy to install and adjust: most parents prefer car-seats that can easily be transferred from on vehicle to the other. So you should also consider how much you will be transferring the car-seat to other cars and also ensure that the car-seat you’re about to buy is easy to install. On top of that, consider how easily the car-seat can be adjusted as the baby grows before making a purchase.
- Make sure the infant car-seat fits well into your vehicle: you should know that smaller-cars may require small car-seats and vice-versa. So, try choosing a car-seat that will fit perfectly into your vehicle depending on the space in vehicle back-seat or number of children riding in the car.
- Balance the car-seat features with its price: car-seats actually have different price-tags but ranging from $50 to $200 or even more. In fact, all car-seats meet minimum safety-standards but the more expensive car-seats are equipped with additional features, premium-quality fabric, extra-padding, cup-holders or compartments and much more. So balance the money you spend on a car-seat depending on its features and durability.
- Read some online reviews on different car-seats within your budget: try to make some research on several car-seats online in order to find-out their advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, ask family and friends about the type of car-seat they use and why because this will help you make a proper decision on a car-seat that will best suit your baby.
- Go to a children’s-store in order to buy a car-seat: it’s recommended to buy a car-seat from a children’s store because such stores have a wide-range of car-seat models to select from. In fact you should first do some online research in order determine the best car-seat for the infant before going to the store. Likewise, visual inspection of the car-seat in person will help you figure-out a car-seat that looks and feels best for you little-child while offering him/her with maximum-safety.
- Acquire a free car-seat: The United-States federal WIC-program often gives-out vouchers for getting free car-seats to low-income families. So, in case you have already registered for WIC-program then try to inquire from a local-office in order to learn more about this program. However, this program may require you to attend a 1-2 hours class on car-seat safety and then you will be given a voucher to acquire a free car-seat.
SECTION-2: HOW TO ENSURE CAR-SEAT SAFETY:
- Research for safety-ratings on a wide-range of car-seats: all car-seats are usually tested for their performance in crashes by various safety-organizations and then the results/ratings are published. However, the checking-organizations and safety-ratings vary by country whereby some countries have strict safety-ratings while others have less-restricted safety-ratings for car-seats.
- Pay extra-attention to recalls: incase a particular car-seat has defects then its manufacturer may have issued a recall so that the car-seat can be returned to factory for a new seat or refund. So, if you’re looking into the different car-seat models and brands, try checking to know if there have been any recalls on a particular car-seat model or brand. Do this by searching online for “car-seat recalls” on a particular model or brand before making a purchase.
- Consider the car-seat safety features: all car-seats are equipped with basic features that will ensure a great level of safety and comfort for your infant/baby when sitting. However, some car-seats have additional features and these may include: an additional side-impact cushioning, an extra-padding all around the car-seat or an anti-rebound bar at the foot-section of the car-seat. In fact, the anti-rebound bar feature is available in newer car-seats and it’s actually intended to minimize the impact that a car-seat will take.
- Take note of the infant car-seat safety harness: always ensure that the infant car-seat features a 5-point safety harness with one strap per limb. Additionally, there should be one-strap for each upper-arm and a strap for each thigh coupled with a strap for the section between the child’s legs. However, there are also alternative restraint-systems such as plastic-shields and T-bars but a strap-system is actually more customizable and even makes the car-seat feel more comfortable children with different sizes.
- Select an infant car-seat with LATCH-tethers: beginning from 2002, all infant car-seats were required to be compatible with a LATCH-system (lower-anchors and tethers for children). This is because a LATCH-system enables infant car-seats to attach directly onto the vehicle-seat instead of being held into place by a seatbelt. In fact, hooking directly into the vehicle-seat will help optimize the safety of your little-child when in the car. The LATCH-system also referred to as a universal-attachment-system (UAS) in Canada and as ISOFIX in Australia.
- Only purchase or borrow a used car-seat from a trusted person/entity: you should only get a used car-seat from a trusted friend or family-member because the car-seat material tends to deteriorate and becomes less reliable. In fact, car-seat manufacturers place expiration-dates on their car-seats and this date is usually imprinted into the plastic at the back or bottom of the car-seat. Likewise, ensure that the car-seat hasn’t been involved in a crash because might compromise its material and safety-integrity. Lastly, a car-seat that is older than 6-years is not recommended for use in case because it will be outdated so it best to just acquire a new car-seat in order offer your little-child with optimum safety when travelling.