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Precious Cargo: What you Need to Know About Car Seat Safety

16th Aug 2017

Babies and children cannot use their car seatbelts in the way that adults do. Up to the age of 12, they should use special car seats to keep them safe.

But the types of car seats differ depending on your child’s age, and it can be confusing when you are getting started. Here’s a guide with the important details you need to know.

Car Seats for Your Newborn

You will want to keep your precious newborn baby safe as soon as you leave the hospital, and the first thing you should do is make sure you have a suitable car seat.

Most baby car seats double-up as carriers with a handle, so you can carry them in and out of your car. Many also clip into a buggy, so you can push your baby around in their buggy, then move them from the buggy to the car without having to wake them up.

They are normally rear-facing, and this is the safest position for babies. They will have a height restriction and a weight restriction, which is usually up to a maximum of about 40 lbs.

Of course, there are countless manufacturers, styles, and materials to choose from, and your best bet is to visit a baby store and read some reviews online until you find one you like.

Make sure you buy it new, otherwise you might buy one that has already been involved in an accident without knowing.

If you are buying a new or used car, perhaps from a dealer like, make sure that you check the seatbelts carefully. Most car baby seats are designed for use with modern seatbelts, so be especially careful if you buy an older car.

Convertibles and Boosters

After your baby has grown out of their first baby car seat, you’ll need to get the next one up. This usually means a convertible, and you will normally start using one of these once your baby is one year old.

All seats should have a weight and size limit for how long you can use it in a rear-facing position. After this, you will have to turn it around to be forward facing.

You should be able to get a good few years out of your car seat, and after your child grows out of it, they can start using a convertible booster seat.

Booster seats are simply small seats that allow your child to sit higher up so that the adult seat belt fits them properly. These come in all kinds of styles, including blow-up seats, rucksacks, and more.

The best are the ones that come with a back to provide extra support. For backless seats, follow the correct installation instructions to make sure they are as safe as possible.

Tips to Always Follow

No matter which car seat you are using for which age, make sure you follow some standard practices:

  • Always ensure your child is not too large or too small for the seat
  • Buy your seat from a reputable manufacturer, even if it is more expensive as a result
  • Always buy your car seat new rather than used
  • Make sure you follow the installation instructions carefully
  • Never use a car seat if it is damaged
  • Always follow standard child passenger safety tips

Use the Right Car Seat for the Right Age

Always use the right car seat for your child, and never assume that they will be fine without being in a car seat. Even a collision at a relatively slow speed can kill.

So start looking for a suitable car seat for your child as soon as possible and make sure they always travel safely on the road.

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