What To Do With Your Old Car Seat
Car Seat Safety: Newborn To 2 Years
Babies are at greater risk of injury in crashes. This is because babies’ spines are developing and their heads are large for their bodies. In a crash, if your child is riding forward-facing, her spinal cord may stretch, which could result in serious injury or death. However, when your baby rides rear-facing in a child safety seat, her upper body head, neck and spine is cradled by the back of the child safety seat in the case of a frontal crash, which is the most common type of crash.
According to research studies, children up to 2 years of age who are placed in forward-facing child safety seats are more likely to be seriously injured in a crash than same age children who are in rear-facing child safety seats. Watch the video to learn more about which car seats are appropriate for your baby and how to install them.
When To Change The Latest From An Infant Carrier To The Toddler Seat
Step 1: Check the weight/height limitation of your seat
If your infant carrier is approved to ECE R44-04, then your seat has a maximum weight based on its approval. This maximum weight must not be exceeded. But this does not mean that you can always use your infant carrier until you have reached this maximum weight, often babies outgrow their seat in height before they reach the weight. For this, check step 2!
If your infant carrier is approved to UN R129, then it has a maximum height given by its approval. This maximum height must not be exceeded. In most cases, the maximum height marks the end of when you can use the seat, but in addition, also check step 2!
Step 2: Check the shoulder belts and distance to the top of the seat
When the uppermost point of the babys head is approx. 2 fingers away from the highest point of the seat shell, you should change to a toddler seat. Ideally, you should look for toddler seats already some time before your baby has reached this point. This 2-finger-distance is recommended since it includes a buffer for upwards movement in case of an accident. Such a movement can happen if the belts are not perfectly tightened. Even though we know that parents do their best to always tighten the belts correctly, it can happen when in a rush or if the baby moves a lot that the belts are not as tight as they should be.
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Place The Car Seat In The Middle
Placing the car seat in the middle position is statistically the safest place to install it. This is because for side-impact crashes, the child is further away from the potential point of impact on each side. But the most important factor in deciding where you should place your child is where you can safely install it. It is more important to install the car seat correctly than to have it in the middle.
If you have more than one passenger in the back seat, place the child that is the most vulnerable in the center position. This could vary depending on your situation. Contact a Child Passenger Safety Technician for assistance if you arent sure what the best setup is for your family.
Use the seatbelts if there arent any LATCH hooks on the middle seat.
Chicco Vs Graco All In One Car Seat
From Camp Graco, we have the 4Ever, and from the Chicco camp, we have the Fit4.
All in one car seats have become popular nowadays. You buy one car seat, and youre done. This is a great strategy for saving money. The car seats that offer this option will serve your child from birth until they are old enough to drive. The all in one solution has many pros and a few cons. By reading this part, you will find out what they are. Plus, you will get the full picture if this is the right one for you.
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Is It Okay To Use Lap Belts Only
Lap belts only are not okay to use for booster seats or if your child is riding with just the seat belt. If your child uses a booster seat, they must wear both the shoulder and lap belt in the car. Lap belts dont provide adequate protection and could lead to serious injuries to the stomach, hips, and head .
How Do I Install A Car Seat With A 5
- Place the car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
- Secure the car seat using the Universal Anchorage System or the vehicle seat belt, carefully following the vehicle manual and the car seat instructions.
- Make sure that the car seat is tightly secured to the vehicle and does not move more than 2.5 cm in any direction where it is attached to the car.
For a rear-facing seat:
- Install the seat at the reclined angle required by the car seat instructions. Check the instructions to see how you adjust the seat to get the correct angle.
- If you are using a seat with a handle, place it in the position required by the manufacturer.
For a forward-facing seat:
- Always use the top tether on a forward-facing car seat. A tether strap attaches the top of the car seat to a designated tether anchor for that vehicle seat.
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How Do You Know When Its Time To Switch
You may need to switch even if your child has not reached the maximum weight. For optimum safety, youll need to move up to the next car seat stage when the top of your babys head comes up over the seat back. Tip: put your hand on the top of the back-seat, does the top of your babys head touch your hand? Time to move up to a new car seat!
Dont be tempted to switch to a forward-facing car seat too soon. At Maxi-Cosi, we recommend that your child continues to travel in a safe rearward-facing position for as long as possible or at least up to 15 months.
What About Their Legs
Many parents express concern about the fact that their child seems cramped or that their legs must be folded before they have reached the maximum height or weight for their rear-facing seat.
Children can safely sit with their legs crossed, extended, or hanging over the sides of their rear-facing seat. Leg injuries for rear-facing children are very rare, according to the AAP.
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The Different Kinds Of Child Restraints
0 to 6 months Capsule
A baby/infant capsule is rearward-facing with an inbuilt harness, which is the legal requirement for babies under six months. Capsules can be used for babies up to about six months of age or slightly older if they still fit into the seat. Unlike other types of car seats, capsules can be easily taken in and out of the car and used as a carrier or attached to a pram to mimimise disturbing your baby.
Is There Any Expiration Date For Car Seats
Yes, Car safety seats do have an expiration date.
They generally have a shelf life between 6 to 8 years from manufacture.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents not use any baby gear once it passes the expiration date.
Usually, a label at the bottom or back carries all the manufacturing and best before details.
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What Are The Types Of Car Seats
Infant-only seats fit newborns and smaller infants best. You’ll need to buy another seat when your baby outgrows it. Infant-only seats are designed to protect babies from birth until they reach up to 35 pounds , depending on the model.
Infant car seats should always be installed to face the rear of the car. A small child is much less likely to die or be seriously injured when in a rear-facing seat. That’s because the back of the safety seat will cradle the baby’s head, neck, and torso in a crash. At this age, a child’s neck usually isn’t strong enough to support the head in a crash.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight and height limits recommended by the seat’s manufacturer. Safety experts say to do this based on a child’s size, not age. Small children can stay rear-facing until age 3 or 4.
Infant-only safety seats are convenient because they’re designed to double as carriers, chairs, or rockers when not used in the car. Many models detach right from the base, letting you leave the base installed in the car. Some can be clicked into strollers to be wheeled around. If your baby is in the infant safety seat outside of the car, never put the seat on a high surface like a kitchen counter, a dresser, or changing.
Why Get Your Car Seat From Halfords
Whatever seat you choose, you want to know that its the best!
Thats why we always recommend that customers choose a reputable shop who only stock the right car seats, like Halfords. All of the child seats stocked by Halfords have been through rigorous safety testing so you know your child is in safe hands!
We also provide a free car seat fitting demonstration for all our customers, for that added peace of mind.
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Are There Any Other Safety Tips
- Many seat manufacturers have online video tutorials that can help.
- Some local community resources offer car seat clinics. There may be someone who has been trained to help with installation or check that you have installed the car seat correctly.
- If you use an infant carrier outside of a vehicle:
- Always keep your child buckled.
- Do not put the seat on a raised surface because it may fall.
- Always take your baby out of the car seat when you arrive. A car seat is not a safe place to sleep.
Choosing A Baby Car Seat
It’s recommended to buy a baby car seat before your baby is born if possible. It’s important to buy a seat that fits your car and is suitable for a newborn.
If you have your baby in hospital or a birth centre, you will need the car seat to drive your newborn home safely. It’s a good idea to practise fitting the seat before your baby is born.
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Baby Or Child Car Seat Fitting
- It is dangerous and illegal to carry a baby in a rear-facing baby seat in a front passenger seat that has an active airbag. Forward-facing seats in the same position, while not illegal, are not ideal. It’s always safer for children to travel in the back of the car.
- Make sure the seat is fitted properly in the car, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Look out for safety days where experts demonstrate how to fit baby and child car seats safely. These often take place in supermarket or shopping mall car parks.
Stage : Booster Seats
Once your child reaches the weight and height limits of their forward-facing seat, they can move into a booster seat. Because weight limits can vary among forward-facing seats , please check the manual for the weight limits of your specific car seat.
Provincial law requires children to remain in booster seats until they are at least 145 cm , 36 kg or nine years old.
Without a booster seat, a seatbelt rides too high on a childs stomach and neck and can cause serious injuries. Research shows that booster seats protect children from serious injury by more than 60 per cent.
How to choose a booster seat
If your vehicle does not have a head restraint, choose one of the following:
- A high-back booster seat that provides head and neck support. Some models convert from a forward-facing seat with a harness to a high-back booster seat.
- An adjustable booster seat that provides adjustable head and neck support as your child grows.
If your vehicle has a head restraint, choose one of the following:
- a fixed high-back booster seat
- a height-adjustable high-back booster seat
- a simple/backless booster seat
- The safest position for a car seat is the vehicles rear middle seat. If you have more than one child, place the youngest in the middle, as their smaller bodies are not strong enough to withstand the impact of a crash.
- Keep an empty booster seat buckled up to prevent it from moving and hitting you in a sudden stop or crash.
Check the fit
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Remove Heavy Winter Clothes
Babies should stay warm during the winter, but dont overdo it.
In the car seat, its important to remove heavy coats or thick clothing. Otherwise, it could prevent the harness from tightening enough. You dont want to risk baby slipping out or being whipped back and forth.
Secondly, heavy clothing could restrict breathing, particularly in infants. Remove restrictive clothing and instead, use boots or a small blanket. Conversely, ensure your little one isnt overheating if you feel hot, theyre likely feeling the same.
Try layering your childrens clothing with long-sleeved shirts and a thin fleece jacket. Thin layers provide additional warmth without the bulk. Once your child is secure in the car, you can then place a blanket over them as well.
When Should You Change Car Seats
Nobody wants to think about an accident. But in the event of the unthinkable, car seats are vital for keeping babies and children safe.
In 2017, restraint use saved the lives of 325 children aged 4 and under, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . So its crucial to make sure your backseat rider is in the right seat for her size, and that the seat is in tip-top shape.
So when should you make the move from one seat to the next, and what other car seat change-up scenarios should you be keeping in mind? If any of the following apply to your childs car seat, its time for an upgrade or replacement.
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Once You’ve Bought Your Car Seat
Practice buckling the seat into your car before your baby’s first ride. Make sure the harness straps fit snugly on your baby’s body. 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.
Make sure the harness straps fit properly over the shoulders and between the legsthis is very important. Dress your baby in clothes that keep their legs free.
To fill empty spaces and give support, roll up a couple of small blankets and tuck them between your baby’s shoulders and head, on both his right and left sides. If they still slump down, put a rolled diaper between their legs behind the crotch strap. Don’t put thick padding underneath or behind the baby.
Up To 8 Years Convertible Car Seats
The same car seat in forward-facing mode.
While one option is to start your baby in a capsule and progress to a forward-facing seat then a booster seat, some may prefer to use a convertible car seat which can change modes to allow for longer periods of use. The main benefit of convertible car seats is that some allow young children to face rearward for longer. They may also be more cost-effective depending on what model you choose.
The options for convertible car seats include:
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When The Car Seat Has Significant Wear And Tear
Daily use and poor storage techniques affect the strength and durability of a car seat. Make it a habit to check the car seats for damaged or loose parts, cracks, and worn fasteners. It doesnt matter whether youll trade-in for the exact same model because it is better to have stronger and less worn components.
Car Seat Buyers Guide
At the end of the comparison article, I usually include a small buyers guide to help you. You need to know what to look at to make the best decision possible.
When you get your car seat, you need to decide where you will install it. Let me share with you a tip. The safest place is in the middle of the car. Indeed, thats not possible for everyone, so heres my backup tip. The second safest place is behind the driver.
My next tip relates to car seat safety. Did you know that 75% of car seats in the US are not installed correctly? If thats the case, then the car seat wont be able to do its job. So its paramount to get that tight install. Whenever you have doubts, reach out to a licensed professional, they can help you.
As you have seen the tables, they look similar. Thats my system to analyze car seats. You can copy it if you like it.
Top of the list is safety. I highly recommend not skimp on it. Get the most safety that you can afford. Theres a dirty industry secret that some brands dont want to know. There are car seat makers that barely pass the government safety tests. Now, which one would you like to protect your child? The one that barely passed or the one that went the extra mile.
Besides the standard front and rear protection, many car seats offer side impact protection. Its a recent addition, but a handful of car seats have rollover protection as well. As you know, rollover is the deadliest crash from them all.
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