There is no doubt that a correctly fitting car seat greatly reduces the risk of harm to a child involved in a road traffic accident (RTA). However with a plethora of different styles and designs available, what should a parent consider when buying one?
When choosing a seat, try a few different models. It is a good idea to ask if staff have been trained in fitting them and listen to their advice.
Check whether the car has “iosfix” connectors. These are designed to make fitting the seat easier and most modern cars have them.
If your child is likely to travel in more one than car make sure the seat fits them too. Often manufacturers have online guides and videos and these are well worth watching.
Always choose a seat that’s the right size for your child’s height and weight. There are many guides available for this too.
Remember which ever seat you choose, it’s a good idea to practice fitting the seat before using with your child.
Car seats are divided into 3 main categories:-
• Group 0+ – These are rear facing seats aimed at babies up to 13 kg or 15 months old.
• Group 1 – For children 9-18kg or up to 4 years old.
• Group 2 – Up to 36 kg or 12 years old.
It is dangerous to use a car seat in the front of your car. Air bags can cause serious injury and it is always better to fit the seat in the rear of the car.
• Make sure the seat is fitted properly with straps and buckles all securely in place.
• Check the seat fits and check it’s suitability and condition often
• Ensure your child is comfortable
• Never leave your child strapped in the car alone.
Car seats are essential for your child’s safety and should be comfortable for the baby and easy for you to use. Take your time in choosing one and never be afraid to ask for advice.