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How to Choose a Good Car Seat to Buy: 5 Things to Look Out For

If you're like most parents, you are concerned about the safety of your child everywhere they are - in the house and outside. Buying a baby car seat for your little one is one of the safest ways to protect your child during car journeys. But, not every car seat is safe for your child. Before buying a baby car seat, there are a few things to consider, and you will find out in this article. Read on.

#1. Ease of Installation: Make sure the car seat you are planning to buy can be (easily and properly) installed in your make of car. It’s easy to do this by checking the car fitting list for the brand of baby car seat you are considering. For example, in some cars you will not be able to install a support leg or top tether. Also, check that the install directions on the manual are clear.

#2. Ease of Use: For some reasons, some baby car seats are difficult to use (after installation). Common usability and safety problems that parents complain of include: 
For some seats, their shoulder straps don’t tighten very well to be held in place by the hook, or would not easily adjust to fit a baby (this could cause the strap to slide off the hook. Not comfortable for a baby and not safe. The straps are like shields, they designed to be firm in order to withstand any force in the event of a crash. When the straps are not well fitted I your baby’s safety is not assured.
The seat base does not fit in the Parent’s car. Confirm that the baby car seat you want will fit well in your own car.
Some car seats’ chest plate are very easy to unbuckle by a child, defeating the primary aim (safety) of buying the car seat;
Some seat belt lock-off takes too much effort to open and close (making you feel that any additional force will break it). Some seats have buckles that are hard to click in, when newly purchased, but may become okay later.

#3. Height of Car Seat vs Height of Your Car: If you’re short or have a small car, tall car seats can block a driver’s (your) view, when set to a rear view. This makes it difficult for the driver to see through the back of the car. So, confirm that the brand of baby car seat you’re buying fits well in your kind of car.

#4. Size of Your Baby: Baby car seats come in different physical sizes – some smaller or bigger than others. The fact is that some car seats fit small babies better than others. Every car seat manufacturer specifies the maximum weight and height of babies that a particular car seat can accommodate – you can find this information in the manual or ask the salesperson. For safety reasons, it is best to adhere to the manufacturer’s guide regarding maximum baby weight and height – even if the child can fit in that car seat. May be this is why some babies came out alive after an accident while others didn’t. And, remember that the only reason why people buy baby car seats is for baby safety.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Why Every Parent Should Get a Baby Car Seat 

#5. Ease of Cleaning: Get a car seat that has removable covers to avoid stains. Some baby car seats’ fabrics are just too difficult to clean. When buying, choose a baby car seat model and brand that comes with an easy-to-clean seat cover fabric. And, when choosing seat colour, black is a great idea – it hides dirt. The light car seat cover colours are quick to show marks and stains.

Buying the Right Car Seat: Summary and Conclusion

That’s it from me on how to buy the right car seat for your baby. In summary, here are the questions to ask:
Is this car seat really, really safe to use?
Will your child be comfortable in it?
How well the seat fit your baby?
How complex is the seat?
How firm are the straps? 
Do stains go off easily when cleaning?

Now you know the things to look out for before choosing a baby car seat brand or model to buy. You can see that some poor quality car seats pose problems that greatly reduce the protection of the seats. 

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