Consumer Reports: Car Seats

On Friday, July 25th, 2014

A child seat ought to be high on your to-buy list. you’ll have one to bring your baby home from the hospital and for each automobile trip thenceforth. In fact, hospitals and giving birth centers usually will not allow you to leave by automobile along with your newborn if you do not have one. each state needs youngsters} up to four years old-time ride in a very automobile seat; several need booster seats for older children.

WHAT’S offered

The major brands of automobile seats ar} seemingly to encounter are, in alphabetical order: Baby Trend, Britax, Chicco, Combi, Cosco, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Graco, Peg Perego, and Safety first.

There also are automobile beds for preemies and different terribly little newborns if there is a concern that a seat might not give a secure match or that it’s going to exacerbate respiration issues. additionally, there square measure specially designed automobile seats for kids with physical disabilities. each model of seat oversubscribed within the U.S. should meet federal safety standards. These square measure your basic choices:

Infant seats. These rear-facing seats square measure for babies up to twenty two pounds. they permit infants to recline at AN angle that does not interfere with respiration and protects them best in a very crash. several strollers square measure currently designed to accommodate baby automobile seats. All baby car-seat models go with a handle, and nearly all have a base that secures to your vehicle with LATCH connections or a vehicle restraint, a convenience that helps you to take away the seat and use it as a carrier. you’ll be able to strap most baby seats into a automobile while not a base, victimisation the vehicle safety belts, however the general public do not use them that manner.

Infant seats have either a three-point harness–two adjustable shoulder straps and a lock between the child’s legs or–even better–an adjustable five-point system–two straps over the shoulders, 2 for the thighs, and a crotch strap. The handle sometimes swings from a grip behind the seat’s shell once within the automobile to AN upright position for carrying. bear in mind to swing the handle to the vehicle position before every trip. Slots beneath most seats facilitate them attach to the frame of a pushcart.

With AN baby seat, you furthermore mght will move your baby from automobile to deal with or contrariwise while not waking him or her up–a and for each of you. Note conjointly that additional bases square measure offered therefore you’ll be able to keep a secured base in every of your vehicles. Your baby could outgrow AN baby seat quickly and become too serious for you to use it as a carrier. As a result, you will end up having to shop for a convertible seat once your baby is vi to nine months previous. However, our recommendation continues to be to start out with AN baby seat before moving up to a convertible seat.

Make sure the seat is compatible along with your automobile. one in every of the primary stuff you ought to neutralise selecting a seat for your kid is to envision the match of any models you are considering in your own automobile. Even before that, though, we propose putting similar-looking models aspect by aspect within the store to match options. (If you have already had your baby, place your kid within the seat, to induce a way of the convenience of buckling and unbuckling.) Then, if potential, bring the ground model to your automobile for a mock installation. remember that some vehicle seats square measure too short, indented, or too slanting to permit a decent match of a baby automobile seats.

If you are considering a convertible seat, strive the ground model in each the rear- and front-facing positions. verify the harness unleash button within the rear-facing position; in some models it’s going to be too low to succeed in well. If you are brooding about AN baby car-seat/stroller combination, conjointly called a travel system, check to take care that it fits in your trunk or vehicle cargo hold. If the shop will not allow you to take the seat intent on your automobile to do it, check that you’ll be able to come any seat you buy–or visit another store.

Insist on new. though there square measure several baby things you’ll be able to borrow or purchase secondhand, do not build a seat one in every of them if you’ll be able to avoid it. a second hand seat could are in a very crash or recalled. The manufacturer’s directions is also missing. If, for a few reason, you need to use a secondhand seat, avoid those with AN unknown history or that square measure older than six years. within the world of automobile seats, a six-year-old model could be a relic–and risky. you may conjointly need to avoid recalled models.

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