How to Choose Baby Car Seats
Whether you are expecting your first child or already have children but have just bought your first car, you will need to think about car seats. The legal requirements in the UK state that all children under the age of three must use a car seat when travelling, and children from the age of three until they reach a height of 135cm or the age of twelve, must use a booster seat. There are a lot of choices and options in the car seat world and it can be hard to choose one that is suitable for your child’s needs. The following hints and tips will hopefully give you enough information to make a wise choice for the needs of your family.
Go For New
There are some things that should never really be bought second-hand. One of them is bicycles; the other is car seats for your children. In both cases, if there is internal damage to the second-hand item that does not show up initially, you can end up with an injured child or worse. The only time you should countenance purchasing a second-hand car seat is if you know the previous owner and find them to be conscientious and careful. Otherwise, rather spend the extra money on a new car seat, knowing that you are buying peace of mind and sturdy, untarnished construction. Sites like babycentre.co.uk can help you to make your choice by offering reviews and opinions on all manner of baby equipment.
Best for Baby
If you are expecting your first child, you may not be aware that you are required to have an age-appropriate car seat (size 0, which is new-born to 13kg) fitted before the hospital will let your baby leave. The size 0 seats are almost always backward-facing, and sometimes require a great deal of patience and skill to install! If you can, try to buy one that comes with a fitting service as the experts will know how to fit the seat in a short time, ensuring that all the harnesses and fittings are secure and stable. Please note, never install a rear-facing car seat into the passenger side unless the airbag has been removed. De-activated airbags can still go off in the event of a crash and pressure of the airbag explosion, even though momentary, can be enough to crush a baby.
The First of Many!
When you are choosing the first car seat for your baby, do not think that this is the only time you will be shopping for car seats! Each child will need between three and five different car seats as he or she grows and gets heavier. Car seats start with size 0, as mentioned above, then move through sizes 1, 2 and 3, all of which are built for different heights and weights, up to 135cm and 36kg, by which time the child should be twelve and can stop using a booster seat. While many manufacturers account for a child’s growth, by making fully adjustable car seats, you will not find one car seat that will last your child from birth to the age of twelve! Never put a baby into a size 1 or 2 car seat as this can be very dangerous for the baby.
Prevention Better than Cure
Some experts say that size 1 seats, those aimed at toddlers from when they grow out of their first baby seat up to about the age of four, should also predominantly be rear-facing. They say this because it is believed that rear-facing seats offer more protection to the child’s head, neck and back in the event of an accident. Having said that, they are not common in the UK and many parents feel happier with forward-facing seats as these allow the parent to interact with the child better. The child can also see forwards, out of the windscreen, and this may keep them calm and happier than being forced to look at the back of the seat all the time. To avoid accidents, keep your car in great condition. Have a look at point-s.co.uk for offers and ideas on the best tyres for your vehicle, to keep you safe on the roads.
As parents, of course you want to keep your child safe from harm. To this end, it is well worth investing in the best quality car seat that you can afford. While the legal penalty for not having a car seat, or using an inappropriate car seat for your child’s age and weight is severe enough – a fine of up to £500, the consequences could be so much worse. If you do not want to be responsible for your child being severely injured or even worse, then make sure that you start them off on the right foot, with an age appropriate, properly fitted car seat!
My name is EmmaVenn. I believe keeping your child save in car will give you a peace of mind that is priceless. Contact me @ G+
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