One of the things at the top of an expectant mom's checklist is to purchase a car seat, but often times she has no idea what to look for in terms of safety and design. Though five star safety ratings are helpful, there are some fairly simple aspects she may also want to take into consideration.
- First and foremost, mom should confirm the seat will function properly in her vehicle. Smaller cars may not work with every make and model. The safest seat on the market won't do any good if it can't fit!
- Make sure it is suited for infants if intended for a newborn baby. The infant car seats typically provide more padding and protection for a tiny noggin.
- If the newborn car seat is detachable and fits on a base, check for ease of use. Most recent models are a breeze to handle.
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- Pay attention to the width and placement of the straps. A wider strap is preferable as it will not get easily twisted in the buckles and will allow for quick buckling. The straps and crotch buckle should also be adjustable to accommodate a growing child.
- Check to make sure the latches or other installing hardware are durable and simple so mom and pop can install or uninstall in a cinch.
- Children will make a mess in their seat so one should make sure it is machine washable, breathable, and of course, removable!
- Beware of exposed metal pieces, as they can become a hazard when the car heats up.