A car seat for your baby is the most important item you will need to buy when you are preparing for your new arrival. It is the law that all babies, toddlers and young children are strapped into a car seat whilst travelling.
In fact, most hospitals won’t even let you leave the hospital without a car seat. If you are on the market for a car seat please read our baby car seat safety advice.
Try before you buy
The fist baby car seat safety advice we can offer is ‘try before you buy’. Many outlets, such as Halfords, John Lewis and Mothercare, offer a ‘try before you buy’ option. Professionally trained staff will fit your baby seat into the car for you to check that it fits into the car before you make the purchase. It is advisable to take advantage of this service, to avoid situations such as the seat doesn’t fit into the car properly or you cannot manage to position it correctly yourself.
Correct weight and height
Instead of relying on the age of your child as a guide to knowing which size car seat to buy, ensure that your child is the right weight and height for the car seat, as babies and toddlers can vary a great deal in their size and weight and therefore age is not always an accurate guide.
Your child needs to be comfortable in her car seat. The best seats are well padded for both comfort and added protection.
Rear facing or forward facing?
Rear facing car seats are suitable for babies from birth up until 13kg, which is approximately 12 – 15 months. Forward facing car seats can be used when a child is between 9 – 18kg, which is approximately 9 months to four years.
Never position a rear-facing airbag in front of an active airbag as this could cause seriously grave injuries to your infant. Forward facing airbags should be placed as far from an airbag as possible. Always check the instructions on your child seat before fitting it.