Car seats are some of the most important pieces of equipment that new parents need, yet they are the bane of many parents’ existence. Some have a hard time breaking down the federal and state laws from the recommendations while others have no idea what seat they should even choose when they are in the baby aisle. Add to that the myriad of options that can be found online combined with the multitude of reviews on the subject, and parents may only want to give up. However, because choosing a car seat and changing children from one car seat to another are life-and-death matters, here is a break down on some of the most important pieces of advice that parents should know about new car seats.
Know When To Change Car Seats
While regulations have stayed the same for car seats in a majority of states, recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics have periodically changed, leading to mass confusion among parents. While some pediatricians address car seat safety, others do not, leaving parents to figure it out on their own. The most important rule is for parents to ensure that their children remain in a rear-facing seat until they are two years old. Infants will be in detachable car seats that allow them to recline and that allow parents to carry them with the handle. However, most of these infant car seats have weight limitations of twenty pounds. Once the infant gets to this weight and no later than the age of one, he or she should be placed in a convertible car seat that can be rear-facing. Each rear-facing seat has rules of its own, but most allow for children to sit rear-facing until they are 35 to 45 pounds. When the child has turned two or has maxed out the weight restrictions, the child can be placed forward-facing in the same convertible car seat. Children will not be ready to be moved to a booster seat with the car’s seat belt until they are at least four years old and are at least 40 pounds. Children whose shoulders are higher than the top harness slots on the convertible car seat will also need to be switched to a booster seat.
Know The Safest Options
Should the unthinkable happen and one’s vehicle is wrecked in a car crash, parents will want the peace of mind of knowing that their children sitting in car seats are protected. Choosing a car seat with a high crash test rating will help to ensure this. Whichever car seat is chosen, parents should be sure to place it in the middle of the backseat, which is the safest spot in the car.
Know How To Safely Attach Car Seats
No matter how safe the car seat is, it could prove fatal to a child if it is not installed correctly. Parents must make sure to read all of the manuals carefully before installing the seat and should look at the built-in level indicators to ensure that the car seat is at the correct angle. Although parents may opt for the ease of installing a car seat with the car’s seatbelt, the built-in LATCH system often allows for more secure fits. Finally, parents should consider going to a local car seat inspection, which is often offered free at police or fire stations.
While no one wants to get in a car crash, sometimes they are inevitable. It is vitally important that you have a proper car seat, and a reputable repair shop like the professionals at this auto body shop in Provo. Parents can look to online leaders for the most up-to-date recommendations for when to move children to new car seats and which seats to choose for the safest rides. Parents need to keep in mind that while it may be convenient for everyone in the car to have a baby forward-facing or to have a toddler out of a convertible car seat and into a booster seat, safety must always be the top priority.