People often think that if the drive slowly or carefully then a car seat is not needed. But what they need to understand that it is not the speed but the impact with other vehicles that causes injuries especially a fast or a heavy vehicle. That is why seat belts are recommended for adults and car seats for babies.
Now when you begin your search for a baby car seat you will find various options available.
Depending on the age and weight of your child:
The first one is the infant type car seat.
This works as a carry cot and a rocker as well and you may even get some in a travel system combination. My baby is now getting a little too big for it but it can usually carry a baby that weighs between 0 to 13 Kg or one aged between 0 to 18 months. It has a secure five-point or three-point harness. And always faces the rear of the car.
Next up is the infant to toddler car seat or the convertible car seat.
This can be used as a rear facing seat when your baby weighs between 0 to 9 kg’s and forward-facing thereafter. Depending on the brand you opt for, these can be used from birth till your child is six years old. They usually have three reclining positions so baby can sit comfortably. These also have an option of a three-point of five-point harness. Some even come with additional features such as a cup holder or an add-on anti rebound bar.
The third option to consider is the booster seat.
This is the ideal from the age of six to twelve years. It mostly comes with comfortable arm-rests and uses the vehicle seat belt to buckle baby in. Another option to consider is the right safer vest. This has a unique three clip design that securely fastens the car seat belt around your child. It is lightweight and portable and works great when you are traveling in taxis and outside the city with your child when you may be unable to carry your regular car seat. It comes in two sizes – the small is for children between three to six years and the large is for children aged between five to ten years. Car seats are available with different locking systems and you can opt for one that suits your needs. Please remember to use only one locking system at a time unless the car seat manufacturer determines that you can use multiple ones.
Most car seats available in America can be securely fixed using the vehicle’s seat belt. Some may be locked into a base that is permanently attached in the car. There is also an ISOFIX option now available in some American cars that firmly attaches the car seat. There is also a latch and tether option that works great for forward-facing seats. Car seats always fixed in the back of the car as that is the safest place for your child to travel till she turns 13. Do not make the common mistake of placing your child in your lap as that can cause serious injury or letting her sit in the front of the car as that can also cause serious harm if there is an accident and she can even be suffocated if the airbag inflates.
Important points to keep in mind while buying and using a car seat:
1. Always install the car seat in the rear of the car
2. Look for ones that have side and head impact protection
3. Pick one with comfortable and washes and cushioning
4. Make sure that it is compatible with international safety standards
5. Select one that has a quick and easy installation
6. Remember to buy a seat whose locking system is compatible with your car
7. Try to get baby used to it from the very beginning to avoid resistance to it; in fact baby’s first ride home from the hospital should be in a car seat.
Please do get a car seat for your baby’s safety and comfort and for yours as well.