The modern market is filled with hundreds of car seats. But we are talking about the comfort and safety of your baby – you cannot ride without a car seat. How do you choose a car seat that meets all your needs? The answer is simple – you need to find out about these very requirements!
The content of the article:
Existing car seat groups
You should choose a car seat according to several criteria and first you need to understand the groups of car seats (age and weight):
1. Group 0 (Designed for children weighing up to 10 kg (0-6 months))
In fact, these are cradles, like in strollers. They are recommended for use only in case of medical indications, since they have a low level of protection.
2. Group 0+ (Designed for children weighing 0-13 kg (0-12 months))
The handle, which is equipped with most car seats in this category, allows you to carry your child directly in it.
The inner straps of this chair ensure the safety of the child.
3. Group 1 (Designed for children weighing from 9 to 18 kg (9 months-4 years))
The safety of the baby is ensured by internal belts or a safety table.
4. Group 2 (Designed for children weighing 15-25 kg (3-7 years))
The safety of your beloved child in car seats of this category, in addition to the internal seat belts of the seat itself, is also ensured by the car seat belts.
5. Group 3 (Designed for children weighing 22 to 36 kg (6-12 years old))
Car seats in this category are almost completely discontinued, since they do not meet safety standards due to the lack of side protection – it is understandable, because these are just seats without backs.
What should you pay attention to when choosing?
When you have decided on the group of car seats that is right for your child, proceed to the next step – finding the ideal within the group.
- Car seat dimensions… Despite the fact that the chairs belong to the same group, they are all different sizes. There are spacious models, and there are not so much. In some car seats, babies can ride up to a year (if a spacious model is chosen);
- Car seat inner harness fasteners should be comfortable, strong and reliable. They must exclude the possibility of their opening by the child himself. And also the risk of injury by these attachments in case of a possible impact must be excluded;
- Car seat installation. It is produced in several ways:
- Using the seat belt of the car itself
A significant advantage of this mounting method is that the car seat can be used alternately in different vehicles. However, despite their reliability, due to the intricate method of installation, most car seats end up being incorrectly fastened;
- ISOFIX mount
Since 1990, it has been an alternative to fastening with a seat belt. Using this method, the car seat is rigidly attached to the car body. At the same time, the possibility of incorrect installation of the chair is practically excluded. The reliability of the ISOFIX system has been confirmed by numerous crash tests. Using the ISOFIX system, the seat itself is fastened, and the child in it – with the car’s seat belt and the inner belts of the car seat.
The disadvantage of the ISOFIX system is the limited weight of the child (up to 18 kg). It is solved by connecting the lower brackets of the car with the car seat mountings.
Additional selection criteria
There are also some details to consider when choosing a car seat:
- Opportunity backrest tilt adjustment… When choosing a car seat for an infant, be guided by the estimated length of travel. If long trips cannot be avoided, then you should choose a chair that allows you to transport the child in a lying position;
- Children over a year old who are faced with the need to sit in a car seat for the first time may react very negatively. You can try to solve this problem by choosing a chair, decorated in the child’s favorite theme, or by composing a story for him in which this is not a car seat at all, but for example a carriage, a sports car seat, or a throne;
- The car seat must be convenient specifically for your child, therefore it is better to go with the baby for such an important purchase. Feel free to fit it into the model you like;
- Car seat brand… Oddly enough, in the field of car seat production, the phrase “promoted brand” means not only a high price, but also a proven level of reliability, confirmed by numerous and many years of research, crash tests; as well as full compliance with European safety requirements.
Where is it cheaper to buy a car seat?
This is a rather relevant question, since nowadays there are several options to choose from:
1. Shopping in a store
It has a number of significant advantages – the ability to see the product with your own eyes, to put a child in it. You can also verify the authenticity of the car seat by looking at the quality certificate. The disadvantage is the high price.
2. Purchase from an online store
The price here, as a rule, is lower than in a regular store, and you will hardly go wrong with the quality of the goods if you choose a trusted brand and buy a car seat on the manufacturer’s website. However, one should not forget that the perfect car seat does not exist, and the model in which one baby is comfortable may not like another at all. The exchange will take some time, and no one will reimburse you at all for the shipping costs. A little trick: if you have the opportunity, choose a car seat that suits you completely in a regular store, remember its make and model. Now find the website of the selected manufacturer and order the model you need there!
3. Buying a car seat “hand-held”
I must say that this is a very risky venture, since it is possible that the seat being sold has already been a participant in an accident or has been inaccurately operated, as a result of which it could be damaged. Don’t forget that your child’s comfort and safety are at stake. So it is better to buy a car seat from your hands from friends, in whose decency you are completely confident. And do not hesitate to carefully inspect the chair for damage, including hidden ones. The obvious advantage of buying from hand is the low price.
Since birth, the son drives in a car only in a car seat – we are strict with this. Apparently due to the fact that from birth – there were never any problems – he got used to it, and it is convenient for him there. We have already changed the chair, it has grown, of course. And besides convenience, I do not understand at all those who transport children without a car seat – there are so many deranged people on the roads.
We lived in a small town where everything is close by and there was simply no need for a car – everything on foot, well, maximum by taxi, if it was urgently needed. And when Arishka was 2 years old, they moved to a large city. I had to buy a car seat – my daughter screamed with good obscenities, I never thought that sitting in a car seat was such a problem. Well, she gradually stopped yelling, but her love for him did not increase – she still rides, whimpers all the way. And the chair is good, expensive, and it seems to fit in size. What to do?
After hearing stories about the difficulties of moving in a car seat, my husband and I thought for a long time how our boy would react to a car seat (Vanya was three years old). Before that, we very rarely drove a car with a child, and I always held him in my arms. Well, I heard people make up all sorts of stories. We bought a very small racing car and my husband began to admire it so much that this delight was passed on to the child. And then he began to talk easily about the racers and their car seats – my husband worked so well that by the end of the conversation they firmly decided that it was great to be a racer. And then we “casually” looked into the car seat department, where my husband told Vanya that the racing seats look exactly like this. The reward for our efforts was to ask him to buy one of these. Then the fittings began – I don’t remember exactly which one we chose then, because five years have passed since then and our chair is already different, but until Vanya did not grow out of it, he rode in it with pleasure. Maybe someone will find our experience useful.
The car seat is a big find! I don’t know what I would do without him, because I have to wander in the car with my daughter several times back and forth. The traffic in the city is tense and I cannot constantly be distracted from the road. And so I know that my daughter is securely fixed, and nothing threatens her. Even if he screams, then this is the maximum due to the fallen toy. The chair was bought in the store, and now I don’t know what kind of group we have – my daughter and I just came to the store, the seller asked if there were any problems with the spine, and specified its weight. Having picked up a chair for us, he even showed how to install it. By the way, the “mastering” of the chair did not cause problems – the daughter did not throw hysterics (although she was already 1.5 years old), maybe because before that she did not go in a car at all and did not know that it was possible to drive without a seat. I just sat down in a chair, I fastened it and we drove off.
If you are looking for the perfect car seat for your little one or own a car seat, share your thoughts with us!
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