We buy a lot of things for our children but nothing is as important as a car seat in a child’s life in the US. Children spend a great deal of time in cars and to transport them safely, you need a car seat.
Sport car seats are those car seats that can transition effortlessly from car to jogging stroller. These sport car seats are made with many safety features to keep your child safe whether in the rear of your car or on the stroller frame.
Even when babies are not in cars, they are usually carried around in car seats. Car seats makes it easy for a single person to transport a baby safely and conveniently from place. Imagine driving around with a six month old and no car seat; it will be a nightmare.
Car seats secure your little passenger in place so you can focus on the road as you drive. When you are outdoors these sport car seats attach to strollers so you can go about your errands with relative ease.
There a bazillion number of car seats in the market; some of which meet or surpass US safety standards and others that do not. Before I explain the features that every car seat needs to be safe, lets talk about the various types of car seats in the market.
Types of car seats
Car seats range from infant car seats to booster seats and many varieties in between. Most recent designs have enhanced safety features like a latch system and five point harnesses.
Infant car seats
Infant car seats are typically made to transport babies from 4-35 lbs. These seats usually come with a base that stays in the car while the seat its self can be used to transport the baby from the car to other places.
Many come with head support for newborns and five point safety harness. Those that meet US standard for safety are usually crash tested and have features like EPS energy absorption foams.
Infant car seats almost always are backward facing and are recommended till baby is two years old or when they have outgrown it.
Forward facing car seats
Forward facing car seats are recommended for kids 2 years and older. Parents are advised to keep their kids in the forward facing car seat until they exceed the height and weight recommendations for that seat.
Forward facing car seats are more upright than the infant car seat. Many of the recent ones have five point safety harness (recommended by pediatricians across the nation) and energy absorbing foams.
Some have features like cup holders for your babies sippy cup and other containers. They are usually side impact tested to meet or exceed US recommendations for safety.
Convertible car seats
Some convertible car seats are 2 in 1 while others are 3 in 1. 2 in 1 convertible car seats can face both backwards and forwards and both positions use five point safety harnesses.
3 in 1 car seats have the forward, backward and the booster position. The booster position uses a regular sit belt. This is the last child seat before they begin to sit in the car directly.
Sport car seats
These car seats are those that can fit onto a sport stroller with the help of adapters or directly. Infant car seats like the BOB-B-Safe infant car seat is a good example. This seat fits onto all types of BOB sport strollers.
Things to look in a car seat
There are four important things you should look for in a car seat; safety, comfort, ease of use, and style.
Safety is the most important feature of any car seat. It is the whole reason behind the car seat.
It is important for a car seat to have a good latch system to secure the seat properly to the car.
As recommended by pediatricians across the nation, a car seat should have a five point safety harness because they secure children in their seats in enough places to prevent the most troublesome of them from wiggling out.
A safe seat should have head impact protection and if possible EPS energy absorbing foams.
Be aware of the expiring dates and make sure the seat is not used for more than it is recommended.
Before buying a car seat, make sure your child’s height and weight falls within the recommended range so that you know the seat will function properly.
A big extendable canopy is great for protection from the sun.
Comfort is next after safety especially since kids spend a lot of time in cars and thus in car seats. A seat that is well padded is nice especially on repeated use.
Car seats that allows the addition of leg covers are great for those very cool days because they provide both comfort and protection against the elements.
Head support is a great feature especially for babies who can’t hold their heads up yet. A lighter infant car seat is more comfortable for parents to carry around.
Ease of use
A car seat that is easy to use is fun to use. Before buying an infant car seat, consider how easy installation will be. Those seats that click easily into and out of their bases are preferable.
If you have a child who can get out and walk by themselves, then a convertible car seat might be easier for you because once installed you don’t have to remove it any more. You only have to change the direction it faces and degree of recline as your child out grows each stage.
You shouldn’t sacrifice safety for style. Once safety has been met and comfort has been met, you can choose your style.
Everyone has a style and letting older kids choose their seat is a good way to get them to feel responsible and this can help them to comply with safety measures like buckling their seat belts every time.
Car seats are indispensable especially in developed countries. There are many different types of car seats. All car seats have weight and height recommendations. When choosing one, you need to consider safety features, comfort, ease of use and style.
I hope this post was helpful. Please leave a comment.