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Car Seat: Buying the Right One Can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 10-01-2007

While car seats save innumerable lives each year, it’s important to remember that they are designed and constructed for kids of specific size and weight. When your children start outgrowing their infant seats, you will have to get them a bigger seat.

  • Children over a year old or weighing at least 20 lbs. are meant to sit facing forward in a convertible seat.

  • Larger forward facing child vests and seats can hold children of varying sizes. Some of these seats come with harnesses and belt-positioning boosters.

Make sure you read the label and relevant instructions before you decide to buy the right seat for your toddlers. Expensive seats can cost anywhere from $130 to $270. What you should be looking for is the correct choice. Try looking for the following features in a safety car seat:

  • The seat should be easy to install.

  • It should lock smoothly and automatically into the harness once installed. Try locking and unlocking the straps repeatedly.

  • The seat should have adjustable straps if you choose to change its position.

  • For smaller infants and newborns, a special convertible seat is available. This will be rear facing. It can be turned around to face forward when your infants grow up.

More than 80 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). So make it a habit to check the car seat every 3 months for alignment and fitting. This will only take a minute and can save you a lot of worry about your infant’s safety.