You need to think carefully before you commit to purchasing a car seat. Safety must be your priority but you also want your child to be comfortable and, if possible, for the seat to look good in your car.
If you have twins or an infant and a toddler then you may wish to take a look here; some of these double strollers actually have car seats integrated into them.
Here are the biggest mistakes to avoid:
Your car seat should not move more than an inch in any direction. If it does it is installed incorrectly and will put your child at risk.
Most car seat suppliers have an expert on hand to show you how to install the seat. Unfortunately many parents don’t use this service as it seems so easy to do it yourself.
It is worth getting a professional to show you; this is your child’s safety you are thinking about.
Face The Right Way
The recommendation now is that a child stays in a rear facing car seat until they are 2 years old. You should always look at the guidelines provided by the car seat manufacturer and adhere to them.
These guidelines indicate age, height and weight. There should be enough leeway that you child can fit into at least two of these categories before you change the car seat or how it is installed.
Not Tightening It
It’s easy to see why parents don’t tighten the belts up too much; you don’t want to make your child uncomfortable.
Unfortunately this is a big mistake and one that is made by over two thirds of parents. Your child may be comfortable but they will not be held securely if you do have an accident.
It is also important to make sure the harness retaining clip is in the right place; it should be chest height. If it is too low then your baby could slump or be injured by the clip.
With the economic climate so uncertain it is tempting to purchase a used car seat or accept a hand me down. While this makes sense economically it could place your child at serious risk.
If the car seat has been in a car which had an accident then the integrity of its design could be compromised. It may not offer the same level of protection that it should.
In addition car seats have expiration dates. After this time the material the seat is made from will have deteriorated and may not offer the same level of protection that it should.
With a used car seat you simply don’t know what you’re getting.
You know the deal, it’s a cold day and your baby has their best snowsuit on. Unfortunately no matter how tight you pull the straps this suit is going to create an extra space round your baby; increasing the chances that they will get hurt in an accident.
Take the suit or coat off and strap your baby in; you can always add a blanket if you’re concerned about the cold.