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Final Thoughts on Buying a Car Seat

Oct 12, 2007
Still have questions? Below you will find a list of safety tips on picking the right car seat for your child.

-Use the lowest harness slots for a newborn infant. Keep the straps in the slots at or below your baby's shoulders for the rear-facing position.

-It's important for an infant to ride sitting semi-reclined, about halfway back or 45 degrees from horizontal.

-Make sure harness straps fit properly over the shoulders and between the legs of your infant.

-To fill empty spaces and give support, roll up a couple of small blankets and tuck them in on each side of your baby's shoulders and head.

-Never use any car seat or booster car seat in a seat with an air bag.

-Be sure that the car seat you purchase is appropriate for your child's height and weight.

-Send in the manufacturer's registration card. If by any chance your car seat is recalled, you will be notified by the manufacturer.

-The base of your car seat should rest firmly on the seat, and the vehicle's belt must be able to secure it tightly. If it moves an inch in any direction, it's too loose.

-If your car has lap and shoulder belts with a free-sliding latch, you must use the locking clip included with most car seats. (Locking clips are also sold separately.) Follow manufacturer's instructions for installation. If you have any questions, contact the manufacturer. Also, many local police stations, fire stations, and hospitals can offer you assistance.

-To make sure you have installed your car seat correctly, attend a car seat safety check and read the installation tips from the NHTSA. Many local fire departments, police stations, healthcare facilities, and even some local baby stores like Babies "R" Us will periodically hold these meetings and will examine your car seat installation at no charge.

-Avoid used car seats. Normal wear and involvement in accidents may limit their effectiveness. Also, they may not conform to present safety standards.

General Shopping Guidelines

-Be sure it's a car seat - Sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised at how easy it is to confuse some of the newer, top-of-the-line carriers with car seats. Make sure the product description specifies "car seat."

-Look for car seats featuring easy-release latches and buckles

- When your hands are full, an easy release can save aggravation.

-Make sure there's wiggle room - You want your baby to be comfortable year-round, so allow room in the seat for bundling up during cold weather. Make sure the product description indicates the seat accommodates larger youngsters than yours.
About the Author
Sarah Jones is a mom on a mission. She is the creator of MyBabyTravelGear.com which features the latest and greatest baby gear and supplies, to help you and your little one travel in comfort and style.
Find a wide assortment of car seats , strollers, diaper bags, carriers and more at her site, http://www.MyBabyTravelGear.com.
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