Strapping your child into a car seat is not an option. We’re so careful of all other safety aspects when it comes to our kids lives, whether it’s food allergies, crossing the road or being out in crowded places.
But often parents are casual about strapping their kids in.
It. Is. Not. An. Option.
Frequently Asked Questions to Help You Learn More About Child Car Seats
An infant car seat is as essential as dreams. You need it, and the hospital laws demand so too. When you have received your bundle of joy in the hospital, you will be asked to have an child car seat for your child.
It is a necessity that you can’t dare to ignore. It’s an essential need. Children car seats prevent your child from collisions, provide him with comfort when you are travelling and keep him calm. You don’t want to move with worry and discomfort because of your kid. So to avoid this, you do need to purchase a car seat that perfectly suits yours and his needs.
After you choose and buy one, you need to learn how to use it. You can learn this through the manual and online directions. We help you know the best types of seats, how to choose and how to use them effectively. You can also learn more through reading our FAQ about child car seats.
We have done a thorough review of these questions and have highlighted the most important that will act as your guide in learning about the use, types, features and child car seat laws. By the end, you will have discovered factors that you probably haven’t considered about these seats.
You can also view our Best Infant Car Seat Covers 2021 reviews.
Question #01. Is it Okay if My Child’s Seat is Loose?
Answer: No. You shouldn’t leave the child seat held loosely by the seat belt. It may lead to injuries in case of a car crash/collision. If you can acquire an Isofix and I-size system, check that the seat belt has perfectly fit the seat through the right route guides on the child car seat. Also, make sure that your baby rests on the car seat correctly.
If after you’ve considered all these options, check with the car seat manufacturers so you can get one that is best fit for you. If not, you should look for another different child car seat.
Question #02. What are the Different Types of Car Seat Choices?
Answer: There are the group 0 and 0+ infant carriers also known as the rearward-facing child seats which include a weight of 22-29lbs and an age between birth and 15 months.
There are also the group 0+, 1 and two classes of child car seats. These are the combination optioins which are either rear-facing or forward facing child car seats. These positions carry a weight of between 40-55lbs and an age of between your child’s births to 6 years. They also have a 5-point harness.1
The forward-facing car seats which are a sign of the growth of your kid are in the groups 1, 2 and 3.These positions enable the child to use the seat’s integral harness2 or the impact cushion until they are 15kg and then they continue using the car’s seatbelt.
Last but not least we have the booster car seats which belong to groups 2 and 3. They are either the high-backed (they have the energy-absorbing foam liner) and the no-back (booster cushions). They are for children who are too heavy –or too tall for a car seat with a harness.
For more information, view our types:
Question #03. Are Some Car Seats Safer Than Others?
Answer: Yes! There are different types of car seats, and some offer more protection in certain situations than others. For example, if you’re at a busy intersection with heavy traffic or driving on an icy road, it’s best to have your child strapped into their seatbelt over the top of any carrier. This will keep them safer from airbags that may deploy in the event of an accident.
Some car seats offer more side-impact protection than others, and this may be a consideration if you find yourself travelling on busy roads or through parking lots with heavy traffic. Overall, it’s best to have your child in their regular seatbelt over any carrier when they’re not at home so that they can move around comfortably and get enough air without being restricted by straps. Remember: never place them behind someone who is smoking as there are too many fumes from cigarettes that could harm your little one.
Question #04. Is it Secure for My Baby to Travel in the Front Seat?
Answer: No. It’s safer for your child to go to the rear seats. The most sheltered spot for your baby is the backseat. Therefore if you have the choice, put your child in a rear passenger seat.
It is safe to put him or her in the backseat especially the middle spot, away from the car’s airbags. If the middle back seat has a three-point seat belt, it’s the safest place to put a child restraint. It’s the furthest away from the sides of the car. If it only has a lap-only belt, look at the child’s seat instructions to see if it can be fit with a lap-only belt. If not, secure the seat on either side of the rear seat using the lap and diagonal seat belt.
Question #05. How Long do You Keep a Child in a Child Car Seat?
Answer: It is safe and recommended that you keep your baby in the rear- facing seat for as long as possible. These seats prevent them from accidents/collisions. They also have harnesses that impede the child from external harm. Babies do outgrow infant only car seats though when they’re between 5 to 10 months of age.
Question #06. How can I be Sure of the Child Car Seat that Best Suits Your Needs?
Answer: You need to check out the types of child car seats. There are different categories from Groups 0. 0+, 1, 2 and 3; there are the rearward-facing, forward-facing, combination and booster car seats. You also need to consider the weight, height and age of your child so as to choose the one that perfectly suits your baby.
Question #07. When can You Switch Your Baby to the Booster Car Seat?
Answer: You can safely change your child to a booster car seat when they’re at least four years and weighs over 4 pounds or more. If the child is also over 125cm, you do need to consider purchasing the booster car seat.
Question #08. Are Used Car Seats Safe to Use?
Answer: If your vehicle seat is a used one, you need to check the seat’s manual that came with the seat and that it has all the safety labels. However, you need to look at some issues carefully. If your seat doesn’t have an expiry date, you shouldn’t purchase it. If it was previously involved in an accident, you need to look carefully into its history before you go ahead and buy it. Lastly, you shouldn’t buy children car seats from second-hand stores or yard sales where you can’t enquire about the seat’s history.
Question #09. Can I Wash the Child Car Seat Covers?
Answer: Yes. Some of the child car seats covers are washable, but you need to check the instructions on the manuals before doing so.
Question #10. What are the Laws for Child Restraint Systems?
Answer: The child car seats laws3 vary according to various state and municipalities.
Question #11. When is My Kid Safe to Use a Seat Belt Instead of a Booster Car Seat?
Answer: When a child is grown he/she can use a regular seat belt. However, you do need to consider a few things before you come to a conclusion that your baby should be using a seat belt. Some of these factors include:
- They are tall enough so that their legs bend at the knees on the edge of the car seat
- They’re mature enough to remain sited with their backs flat at the brink of the place; no slouching
- The lap belt sits high on their thighs or low on the hips
- The shoulder belt crosses the child’s shoulder and chest; not their arms or neck
Also, ensure that no one shares a seatbelt in the car. Everyone, including your child, has to have their seatbelt.
Question #12. What’s the Safest Car Seat?
Answer: No car seat is safer than another. All you need to do is find one that perfectly fits your baby, has gone through all tests, and passes all the required recommendation and one that ensures the child’s safety and comfort.
Question #13. Should I Purchase a Car Seat with a Harness or a Shield?
Answer: 5-Point harnesses on a child’s car seat are the safest. Shields are less safe and are no longer in production.
Question #14. Are Combinations with Strollers and Car Seats Safe?
Answer: Yes they are. The Group 0 and Group 0+ types of car seats have the travel systems which enables you to fix the child car seat to a stroller for easy transportation. They are tested and considered the most reliable groups of seats.
Question #15. What’s a Latch? Is it Safe?
Answer: LATCH Systems make installation and the use of the seat easier. The word Latch stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. However, it’s not necessarily safer than seat belts.
Question #16. Can a Child Use an Inflatable Seatbelt?
Answer: A child can be secured in the vehicle in the usual way using an inflatable belt if they are taller than 135cm. You cannot use an inflatable belt to secure the car seat itself in the vehicle.
Question #17. What are the Basic Guidelines for Proper Safety Seat Use?
Answer: Install the security seat so that it doesn’t move more than an inch to the front or sideways in the car.
- You should thread the straps below the child’s shoulders on a rear-facing seat and through the top strap in most forward-facing convertible seats. Straps must be above the child’s shoulders in seats that only face forward, such as combination seats.
- The harness should be comfortable yet tight enough.
- The top of the harness clip must be at the armpit base.
- Put any coats on top of the harness.
- Restrain children in the rear seat, especially if the vehicle has a passenger airbag.
- You should never put a rear-facing safety seat in front of a passenger air bag.
- Use a top tether with forward-facing safety seats, attached to a designated tether anchor. It can reduce the forward-motion of the child’s head in a crash by several crucial inches.
For more information, view how to use children car seats
Question #18. Does the Government Give any Advice?
Answer: Yes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for example has many resources. However, various government organisations have different regulation and rules about the child car seats use.
Question #19. What Brands of Child Car Seats are Compatible with My Car?
Answer: It is impossible to tell in advance if an infant car seat will fit perfectly in a particular type of car. The best thing is to see if you can try it out in your vehicle with your baby before you buy it. Also, make sure you have a good return policy in case it doesn’t fit.
Question #20. What Child Car Seat Features are the Most Important to Consider?
Answer: The safety and comfort features are essential to any child car seat. Nevertheless, other important features are depending on the type of car seat and the needs you require from the seat.
Question #21. Which Child Car Seats can I Use on an Aeroplane?
Answer: Children’s car seats should have a label with FAA approval for use on a plane. Most infant and convertible models have this tag. You can’t use Booster seats, safety vests and car seats over 16 wide on an aircraft. When a child is 40 pounds, they should use the regular seatbelts on an aeroplane.
Question #22. How Many Years can I Use My Child Car Seat?
Answer: Many infant car seat manufacturers put “expiration” dates on their car seats. You are advised to look at these times before you purchase any child car seats. Six years is the general recommendation.
At most, ten years is the accepted maximum lifetime of an infant car seat. The reasons for these limits involve possible degradation of the plastic shell and the possible loss/breakage of parts, and the fact that old seats will often not meet current government safety standards.
Question #23. Does it Matter if My Child’s Car Seat’s Harness Straps are all Twisted?
Answer: Yes. The more the straps twist, the less the belt can protect your baby from a crash. It means that you will need to apply more pressure to the child thus resulting in him into having severe burns or injuries. It’s a fantastic idea to untwist the straps after each ad every use. Some seats have straps that do not twist.
Our Most Commonly Asked Questions
What Are the Stages of Child Car Seats?
There are four primary stages of baby car seats. These include the:
- Rear-facing car seats (infant car seats): These are for kids aged between four months to two years
- Forward-facing car seats with harness – designed for kids aged five years
- Booster car seats until the seat belt fit – great for kids aged four to twelve years or at least those who have reached a height of4’9.
- Seat Belts (you should use the back seats – for kids aged 12 and above
How Long Should A Child Be in a Child Car Seat?
Well, according to various paediatricians, a child should stay in the child car seat that kids remain in a five-point restraint car seat until they reach eight years old.
When they graduate from the infant car seat, they should then be placed in a booster car seat until they’ve aged 12 years and above – basically 4 feet 9 inches.
At What Age Does A Baby Go From A Child Car Seat to A Booster Car Seat?
A toddler should get into a booster car seat when they’re aged four to about twelves years.
Is One Baby Car Seat Better Than the Other?
Well, all U.S manufactured baby car seats are designed to meet and pass the various crash tests they’re subjected to, according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
So, when you’re purchasing a child car seat, make sure that you chose one that has all the features you need.
I bet you’ve read through the frequently asked questions and now you’re wiser on their use, types and how to choose the perfect one. All you need to know is that the best child car seat is the one that fits your baby, protects him from harm and keeps him snug in the seat. If you are comfortable with it, then it’s the perfect seat for you.
Through reading those questions, you are now an expert on car seats and can use them comfortably with your child. Also, remember to be knowledgeable on the child car seats laws that regulate the industry.