Today’s laws are stricter than ever before when it comes to child car seats. Parents need to be concerned about which way the seat is facing, how the seat is anchored in the car, what kind of harnessing system it uses, the weight and height restrictions, and even where it can be placed in the car. With all that said, it can be rather confusing. The following are a few important considerations to keep in mind concerning child car seats:
Do your research: Before heading to the store to start your search, it is wise to first look into the car seat laws for your region/state. You need to know what kind of seat the child should be in, and what direction the seat should face. There are rear and front facing car seats.
Know your child: Be sure you know your child’s current weight and height, as this information will be needed to pick the correct seat.
Decide what kind of seat you are looking for: There are infant seats, child car seats, booster seats, and combination seats. If you’re looking specifically for the “child car seat” then most likely your child is no longer rear-facing, and you’ll have a lot of options available.
Know your car: Take a look at what your car allows as far as where you can position the car seat, and how you can anchor/tether it.
Ability to clean: Unfortunately car seats tend to take a beating as far as spills and accidents go. You will want to look for a car seat that has a removable cover that is washable. As well, look for material that holds up well to wear and tear.
Added features: If added features are something you’re after, you can look for such things as armrests, cup holders, side impact cushioning, steel-framing, an adjustable headrest, adjustable straps, along with other features.
Safety: Always look into safety tests and statistics available on various models.
Shopping for a child car seat is an important task, as this is what keeps your little one safe in the event of a crash.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Child Car Seat and was authored by Valerie Johnston.