Although it may not seem it, purchasing a car seat can often be a difficult and painful process when you don’t know what you need or where to start. Being such an important child safety item, it’s important to do your research before you buy.
It’s not enough to just have a car seat. While some seats do offer more safety and ease of use features then other seats might, no one seat is the “best” or “safest.” The most important aspects of choosing a restraint are that it:
- fits your child
- fits your vehicle
- is a restraint you will install and use correctly every time you travel
- fits your budget
How to Choose a Safe Car Seat for Your Child
- Make sure you buy a restraint that comes with clear instructions on how to install it correctly.
- Ensure that the restraint you are purchasing meets an approved standard accepted in Europe.
- Keep in mind the steps necessary to correctly install and remove the restraint from your vehicle. This is especially important if you need to do this regularly as the seat will need to fit comfortably in both cars.
- Make sure that the restraint purchased is suitable for your vehicle, particularly if you have a small car or older vehicle. Will there be enough room for other passengers? Not all child restraints fit in all cars so it’s a good idea to try before you buy.
- Make sure that the seat you are buying is suitable for your child’s weight, height and age. Weigh your child and measure their height. The torso height is the most important measurement, measure from the child’s bottom to the tip of their head and also their shoulder height. Check the user manual for the seats weight and/or height limitations before you purchase your restraint to make sure it is suitable.
- Don’t base your decision on what seat to get on price alone. A higher price does not always indicate that the seat is any better then others on the market.
- Because it is recommended to have children in the rear-facing position till they are at least one year of age, you need to consider the maximum weight and height limitations of your capsule and/or convertible restraint. Too small a limitation and your child may have to be turned before they are one. Try and purchase a convertible car seat with a rear-facing weight limit of at least 12 kg, the majority of children should get to at least one year of age rear-facing at that weight. Though, the higher the rear-facing weight limit and the taller the seat the better of course.
If you have any further queries about these products then please contact the manufacturer of the child safety seat or child safety seat accessory that you are interested in.