With almost 1.3 million people dying in road accidents every year, it’s no secret that car seats are seen as an essential component of any parent’s car. However, some may see car seats as an inconvenience and don’t take them seriously enough, simply by underestimating how important they actually are to a child’s safety when on the road.
Buying the right car seat for both your child and the type of vehicle you have is vital, and is likely to determine how safe and comfortable your child will be. If you’re struggling to decide which car seat to go for, below you’ll find some top tips to get you on the right track!
Infant car seats
As its name would suggest, this type of car seat is most suitable for younger babies as opposed to toddlers. Infant car seats come in a wide variety of forms with many different features, but one feature that’s always consistent with this type of seat is rear-facing. This is to provide optimum safety and support for the infant if a head-on collision were to occur. Many infant car seats also come with an easy removable system, allowing you to swiftly remove the seat from the base to lift your baby out of the vehicle without waking them.
Whilst the majority of vehicles are compatible with rear-facing infant seats, it’s important to still analyze your vehicle to avoid disappointment. If you own a large, family-friendly vehicle such as the Jeep Compass, it’s likely almost any car seat will be suitable. But, if you’re dealing with a smaller car, taking measurements before purchasing a seat will be incredibly useful.
Convertible car seats
Primarily suitable for older babies and toddlers due to their size and support systems, convertible car seats are a great option if your child likes to sit in different positions from time to time. This seat can be converted into either a forward or rear-facing seat dependent on preference, giving you the opportunity to tailor the exact position your child is in.
Due to the customizable nature of this seat, some may avoid purchasing a separate infant seat and just get this one to cater for both your child’s infant and toddler phase. However, convertible car seats offer less support for smaller babies so, whilst it may seem like a good idea, it’s highly recommended to still start with the optimum safety of an infant seat before transitioning to the convertible option.
The ideal option for when your child grows out of their convertible seat but is still too small for your vehicle’s seatbelt system, booster seats provide that extra bit of height to provide an optimum seatbelt fit.
Buying a car seat can be tough as there are so many options available on the market these days. However, now you know which seats are most appropriate for which age group, you’re equipped with all the knowledge you need to purchase the best possible seat for your child.
Kyle Stephens is a parent who enjoys penning an article or two from time to time about parenting topics.