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Important Advice For When Buying Car Seats

Apr 26, 2008
Having a baby is a joyous experience, but comes at a hefty price. The equipment you need to protect them and transport them seems to be in complete disproportion compared to the size of the child in question. The expense of these products is also something that can be a shock to first time parents, and not only are the products you need often expensive, but they are both essential and have only brief life spans. As a baby grows so quickly, and develops into a toddler that similarly refuses to slow down and stick to one size for a while, the equipment needs to adapt, grow or be replaced at a steady rate of knots.

One particular piece of equipment that is essential and crucial to the safety and welfare of your baby is the car seat. In many cases it is both tempting and advisable to look for cheaper, second hand alternatives to most baby equipment, including clothes. However, where car seats are concerned this is definitely advised against very strongly. In a similar way to crash helmets, car seats are built to protect the child against a single crash. A crash helmet has material inside which compresses very readily, and absorbs the impact, thereby protecting the head. Once compressed of course, this level of protection no longer exists, and although the helmet may look superficially still in good condition, the hidden level of protection has been lost, and it should be replaced. The same is true for car seats, and buying a second hand one does not mean that your baby will be protected, as you will have no way of knowing or telling if it has been in a crash, and whether the in built safety material is still able to do a good job.

Unless you have a good working knowledge of modern car seats you will be best getting professional advice, and most shops which sell car seats have an expert who is trained and able to advise you on your purchase. It is worth knowing that not every car seat fits every car, and the size, shape and position of a standard car seat, and the type, position and fixing of a seat belt can all contribute to the relative safety or otherwise of any car seat you buy. Most specialist shops have a computer database which lists all makes and models of cars, and cross checks these against manufacturer's recommendations and requirements, so that a list of compatible and suitable seats can be demonstrated.

These specialists will also be able to show you how to fix the seat properly, as again, if the chair is not fixed properly the built in protection will be of no benefit and your baby could be harmed. Make sure that you are confident about putting the seat in, and taking it out yourself. Remember, this will usually be done with the baby in the seat normally, and sometimes done when in the dark, so buying the seat well in advance and practicing plenty will stand you in very good stead.

With these basic tips in place, the next thing to consider is whether to buy a three point or a five point harness, a combination seat/carrier, a forward or rear facing seat, one with a detachable base and so on. These aspects are secondary in importance to the points listed above, but will still play an important role, and so discussing the merits of these with the advisor will help tremendously.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping. You will find the best marketplace for luggage, cruises, hotels, and shopping at these sites for bags, luggage, hotels, cruise, and shopping, car seats, baby equipment.
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