Knowing that you have a car seat that will keep your child safe is a priority if you are a parent. You want to make sure that every time you pull out of the driveway, your child won’t be seriously injured in a car accident. But how can you be sure that the car seat you have chosen is safe? Here are some tips that will help you find the best car seat for your child.
If you are purchasing a seat for an infant, realize that they grow a tremendous amount in the first five years. If you buy a car seat that doesn’t adapt to your child’s growth, then you are wasting money. Your baby will eventually face forward in its car seat so think of the car seat as a long-term investment. If it sounds expensive, there are a variety of different priced car seats available.
If you are busy, you may miss a story on the news about that car seat you just bought is the subject of a recall. How do you find out if there is a recall on your car seat? Go to seatcheck.org to find out if the seat you purchased has been recalled. It would be wise to visit the site prior to purchasing a car seat. By doing this, you will ensure that your child is safe.
Never place your child in a used car seat. Older car seats may not meet current safety standards for car seats. Use car seats often have vital components missing that will cause the car seat to be less effective or ultimately fail. If you don’t want to put your child in danger, never put a used car seat in your vehicle.
Your infant will undoubtedly spit up in the car seat, and it will need to be cleaned often. When choosing a car seat, find out how easy it is to clean. Make sure that the coverings can be removed and washed or easily replaced. If you can’t keep stains and caked on regurgitation off of the car seat, you will end up having to replace it.
If you are going to purchase a car seat, be aware of the LATCH system. The latch system uses a system of straps, hooks, and anchors to secure a car seat. In the LATCH system seatbelts are not used in conjunction with the car seat. While research does not show that LATCH is more effective than using a seat belt, it does not show it is worse than seat belts. There are two schools of thought on which is better and research is needed to understand each system. The decision really rests with you if you want to use the LATCH system or a car seat that utilizes a seat belt.
Be sure to measure the car seat to see if it will fit in your car. If you are in a smaller car, some seats might not fit. If your car is older it may not have anchors for the LATCH system either; so be sure you know what kind of car seat you are purchasing.
Buying a car seat takes some due diligence, but in the end, when you have chosen the right car seat, you are ensuring your child’s safety in your vehicle for the duration of their childhood.
Don Westerfeld has been active in the field of Insurance and Financial Planning since 1997. Don grew up in Indiana later moving to Lakeland Florida where he continues to reside with his wife and children. When he’s not in the office you can find him enjoying the great outdoors. He has served on several charitable business and non-profit organizations and continues to provide guidance, advice and support to local charities.
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