Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Travel Equipment - Car Seats (Part 2)

A few things to look for when choosing a seat are:-

  • 5 point safety harness which fits snugly - baby and younger children’s car seats come with an integral, adjustable safety harness. It needs to fit very snugly over the shoulders to meet the buckle coming up between the legs.

  • One-pull harness - the easier all straps on a car seat are to adjust, the more likely you are to fit it correctly. Many harnesses are now designed to adjust by quickly and easily pulling one single adjuster strap until the harness is a snug fit.

  • Tamper-proof buckle - this is coloured red to make it easy to spot and is easy to release in an emergency by an adult, but designed to be difficult for young fingers to undo.

  • Padding - all baby and child car seats should be well padded for both comfort and added protection. The shell should be sturdy (though it may be lightweight) and contoured.

  • Weight - if you're going to be using it with different cars or carrying your baby in it, a lighter model may be best.

  • Seat covers - many car seat covers are removable for machine washing.

  • Choice of positions - forward facing seats (from 9kg up) may have the option to recline or lie flat, which is a bonus if you want your baby to sleep on longer trips.

  • Installation - most seats need an adult lap and diagonal belt to secure them, although some forward facing seats can be secured with just the lap belt in the middle of the back seat. It is best to try the seat in your car before you purchase it, if it doesn’t fit correctly then don’t buy it.
Watch out for Part 3 which will explain 'Buckle Crunch'

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