Many vehicle-related injuries to children could be prevented by the proper use of car safety seats. Here are some things to consider when choosing a good car seat:
- All vehicles are different. The safety seat you choose must fit firmly and securely on your vehicle seat. Check the width and length of its base and be sure the seat belt fits through the appropriate places and fastens securely.
- The ideal seat for your child is one that fits his or her size and weight, fits in your car and is easy enough to install so it will be used correctly on every ride. No one brand is the safest or the best.
- It's a good idea to check the harness straps to see whether they're long enough for continued use as your child grows, and remember to allow for bulky clothing such as snowsuits. Test the buckles to be sure they can be fastened properly and easily.
- Your child's comfort is important. Let your child try out the seat before buying it. Look at the seat cover material, consider the space and freedom for arm movements. Think about how comfortable your child would be while sleeping in the seat.
- Be sure the instructions and tether strap (bolt and strap which attaches the seat to the inside of the vehicle) are included.
- Price is not a measure of the safety of a seat. More expensive seats typically have added features that may or may not make the seat easier to use.