Car Seats Buying Guide

There's no avoiding this purchase when you have a new baby in your life seat'>toddler. Concerned that you won't find a safe car seat for your child? Don't worry, all new car seats must meet the current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. As far as choosing the right car seat, it is all a matter of what fits in your vehicle, how easy it is to use and how long your child can use it. Here are the five types of car seats on the market today:

Types of Car Seats

Car Seat Suggestions

What To Look For

* '''Easy Installation:''' A recent study showed that more than 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly. Avoid being a statistic and find a model that you can feel safe and confident about using. Check with your local fire department or motor vehicle administration (New York State's DMV has a great Web site) for installation help and safety guidelines. * '''Convertible Seats:''' If you buy an infantseats'>convertible car seats are versatile and last the longest. However they don't offer you the ability to easily take an infant in and out of the seat. That's right, you may have to wake a sleeping baby. * '''LATCH:''' All car seats since 2002 are equipped with a tether system known as LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). This system aims to reduce the risk of improperly installed car seats to maximize safety. No seatbelts are needed for installation. * '''Easy Release Latches and Buckles:''' The buckle should adjust easily from the front, not the back. * '''Washability:''' Find a car seat with a detachable, head stabilizer). Padded straps are also a nice feature.


Though all car seats meet the government safety requirements, there are a few added bonus features you may want to consider to maximize your child's safety. * '''EPS foam around your baby's head can improve crash safety, especially in side impact crashes.

Safety Tips

* Infants must ride semi-reclined, at a 45 degree angle. * Avoid used car seats. Worn seats, seats more than six years old, and seats that have been in accidents will be less effective in case of a crash. * Keep your baby rearmirror'>Safety mirrors are available to keep an eye on your child while in this position. * Always follow the manufacturers' instructions and read the vehicle owner's manual for installation tips. * Make sure your baby has adequate "wiggle room." This will ensure your baby's comfort, especially on the colder days that your baby is bundled up. * Check recall lists to see if your car seat is up to par. * For more tips check out Baby Toys: Get some great suggestions for keeping baby occupied in the car.  * Convertible Car Seats: If you want more than just a car seat.  * Strollers: Babies need strollers too!

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! NL: Kinderautostoeltjes Shopgids
ES: Sillas de coche para bebés