When it comes to investing in items for your kids it’s important to remember that all our needs are different. The items we choose are dependent on our lifestyle, our financial situations and what’s best for baby. What’s more important is that when selecting a car seat for your baby you want a brand that you trust, that has the highest level of safety standards, one that’s functional and that’s comfortable for your child considering that they spend quite a chunk of their lives in various seats.
If you’re asking yourself the question, “Why do I even need a car seat for my child?” then you definitely need to check out all the articles written by my fellow bloggers as part of the #CarseatFullstop initiative. The answer is simple, it’s an essential part of car seat safety and CAR SEATS SAVE LITTLE LIVES! If your precious baby is safe and securely strapped correctly in their car seat their risk of dying in a car accident decreases. Kapish! The latest research says that 93% of children in South Africa that need to be in a car seat to be safe in a crash, are not in car seats. When a car crashes or suddenly stops, the body takes on the weight of the speed you were travelling multiplied by your actual weight. If your baby weighs 10 kg, and you are driving at 60km per hour, when you hit something your baby will take on the weight of 600kg.
I know that buying a car seat can seem like a very overwhelming task with the hundreds of options available out there. So don’t rush into it, do your research, buy them in person where you can actually touch and feel them. Think of your lifestyle, is the big bulky seat conducive to your jet setting life? Is it a universal or compatible seat which could work with any travel system? Buying the most expensive seat doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best bang for your buck. Weigh your options before making that big ticket purchase.
So what do you look for when selecting an infant seat?
A baby needs to be in a rear-facing infant seat until they are 13kgs or their head is more than 1 inch from the top of the seat back and the carry handle of an infant seat has a secondary purpose. When installing the seat, you should pull the handle towards the backrest of the seat to create a “roll cage” effect
TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER:
- Up to 80cm rear facing
- 80 to 105cm forward facing with five-point harness
- 105cm to 135cm booster seat with seatbelt of the car
An infant car seat may be a smaller initial investment, but you will ultimately need to purchase a booster seat for your child when they outgrow it. In saying this it doesn’t mean that you should skimp on costs.
When installing your car seat, it is of the utmost importance to follow the manufacturers instructions. In saying this you also want a seat that would be easy enough for you to do on your own. More user friendly.
The forces exerted in a collision are excessive, and the slightest inconsistency in the installation of a car seat in relation to the manufacturer instructions could render the car seat dangerous in the case of an accident.
A car seat safety test is conducted in accordance with its manufacturers instruction, and approved for safe use accordingly. Not abiding to these could prove to be fatal for a passenger in a collision.
In all honesty your car seat will double up as a baby carrier for the first few months when you don’t feel like unpacking the pram / travel system. The last thing you need is a heavy seat. Carrying the weight of the car seat and its precious cargo could definitely do a number on your back.
Ensure the correct seat is being used in the correct position for your baby’s weight. Many seats will be grouped in weight ranges, i.e. Stage 1 seats 0-13kg (ideally to be used 0 – 1 years), 0-18kgs, 0-25kgs etc.
Choosing a car seat that is comfortable will make the car ride much more enjoyable for your child, ask the following questions,
What kind of material is used
Does the seat recline
Do a consumer test with other Moms
“You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.” Mandy Lee Miller, #CarseatFullstop Creator & Director