Parents must use a car seat or a restraint for their toddlers as a safety measure when traveling with their babies or toddlers in a car. A car seat or a restraint is particularly important because, the usual car safety belt is not designed using kids in mind.Moreover it doesn’t provide proper fastening of the kid.Many countries across the world have strict rules which say that a child should be approved in a rearward facing seat, whereas children from six months and under four years must be secured either in rear or forward facing seat . Car seats are very vital, because a child fastened securely in a car seat is less likely to suffer from injuries in case of an accident.Rules are so strict in some countries that sometimes you can’t even take your baby home from the hospital unless you have a car seat.
A car seat is a portable seat for an infant or a small child that attaches to an automobile seat and holds the child safely.
The following things should be kept in mind before buying a car seat:
1.Age – There are different car seats for different age groups.So always consider the age of the baby while buying a car seat.
2.Brand/Warranty – The brand is a key factor which will help you know the quality of the car seat. A tried and tested brand is always the best choice to go with.Double ensure the material of the seat before you take the final call.You should also check if the car seat has required safety standards check in place.
3.Safety Harness- It is best to have a 5-point harness, as it keeps the baby.It provides a better protection than a 3-point harness.
4.Compatibility with the Car – You would definitely dont want to buy a car seat, which is not compatible with your car.Check if the car belt is compatible with the seat and is secured properly in case the car seat does not have LATCH.LATCH(Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) is a standardized system for car seat installation that stabilizes the seat and reduces the potential for head injury. The LATCH system makes using your car seat easier since it allows you to install it without having to use your car’s seat belts.The seat should be set such that it is sturdy .It should not wobble and should be such that the kid feels it is as good as the car seat, not something external.
Kinds of Car Seat:
1.BABY OR INFANT CAR SEAT – These are the ones you would be requiring immediately after the child’s birth when you need to take the baby to home.These generally go uptil six months until the baby is old enough to support his/her neck.These should always be rare facing.
2.INFANT TODDLER CAR SEAT -These come into use once the baby turns six months of age.They can continue until three years of age, as is claimed by most car seat manufacturers.These can be front faced, but its good as long as you can keep it rear facing in the car.
3.BOOSTER SEATS -These come handy once the kids turn 4 years of age.These can be strapped with the belt of the car.