Car seats are an important attachment and undoubtedly the most important child accessory that you will need to buy as soon as you have a baby. This is the only way you can safely get your baby home from the hospital.
There are three types of car seats for babies that are available in the market, they are infant car seats, convertible car seats, and booster seats. Having a car seat for a baby is mandatory in many countries in the west including Australia. In Australia, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) has established a guideline for the safety of children that specifies the construction, specification, and safety details of baby car seats.
Here are some important points that you must keep in mind before you buy convertible car seat online :
Infant car seats : An Infant car seat is for children whose weight is up to 35 to 40 pounds. They are rear facing only since rear facing seats are safer than forward facing seats. This is because during a crash it is more likely that the child will get more injury than an adult, also the adult seat belts are completely useless for the child. Children have a larger face and more upper-body weight than adult and hence front facing seats cannot hold their head correctly. They are necessary for children that are up to 12 months of age.
Booster seats : There are Booster seats as well as Toddler booster seats available that are for children of age 1 to 3 and of 4 to 7.
Convertible seats : There are also multipurpose seats available now, they are called convertible car seats. 3 in one or all-in-one are the seat that can change from rear facing to forward facing and can also become booster seat which can accommodate a child up to 120 pounds. Note that some of the convertible seats might not be front facing. If so is the case, you will not be able to use them for infants.
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a 5-star rating system that can help you determine how safe the car seat is. These ratings also take care of how easy it is to attach and detach the car seat.
5-Point Harness : There are 5-Point harnesses in all car seats, be sure to tie all the harness well – one for each shoulder, one for each side of the hips, and one between baby’s legs.
Side impact protection : Some car seats have protective head gear too, this will help to stable the head of the child during a side impact. This is also a very important feature that you must keep in mind while you buy a new child car seat.
Adjustable harness : Some of the car seats have single belt adjustment that will quickly release all the buckles of the harness and let you pick up your child easily and quickly.
LATCH – Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children): Since 2002, all the car seats are mandatorily made to adapt this system that enables you to attach and detach child car seats on adult seats. All convertible seats are equipped with the LATCH system.
Easy Cleaning : If there’s a kid, a mess is bound to be there, it is therefore advised to buy the one that gives you easy cleaning options. Go for the ones that have washable covers.
Use as long as possible : It is advised to use the car seats as long as your child fits in it. There are marks on the shoulder that will indicate when you need to adjust the harness and you must use the seat until hi/her head starts getting out of the upper edge of the seat. Always keep the harness tight and do not let any cloth or blanket come between the child and the harness.
Do not buy a second-hand car seat since that may have cracks that might not be visible. This can be really dangerous for your kid.