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OTHER ITA SITES:
Car Seat Safety
Let me start by saying that I was a certified technician for child restraint systems for six years. During that time I personally inspected approximately six thousand car seats. I�ve inspected everything from infant carriers to booster units for bigger kids. I guess you could say that qualifies me as an expert.
Every one of those seats came with a parent. Parents are people and as we all know, some people will do it right and read the instructions. They even seek out professionals to inspect and teach them. Then there are parents that look at a seat and think how hard can this be; it�s just a car seat, and in it goes. They will even invent ways to secure it. Believe me, they can get very imaginative.
You should purchase your seat at least one month ahead of the birth. See a professional certified technician and learn to use your equipment so every ride is a safe ride.
Every seat meets a federal standard, so have no fear when you buy your seat. The thing you need to look for is a seat that is user friendly.
If you can easily install it in a vehicle and apply the straps to your little one, you will no doubt be more confident when you use the equipment. Some seats are so poorly designed that nobody can manage the straps. They don�t fit in the car well and are very difficult to get tight in a car.
Remember every seat is safe. No matter what you chose, you have a tested safety apparatus. But all seats are not created equal.
To start your child safety choices, I recommend the Snug Ride infant car seat by Graco. I recommend this seat because it is easy to install and easy to use. The straps work nicely and have very little drag. Do not install all types of aftermarket items in the seat. They are really unnecessary and can dramatically reduce the safe functioning of the seat. In this case, less is more.
The next stage would be your convertible seat. That means it faces both rear and forward. This transition to the larger seat is another area that many fall prey to. Never just face the baby forward even though they may be 20 pounds but only 8 months old. This is a huge mistake. When forward facing, the child should be at least 1 year of age AND 20 pounds. The reason for that is that the body must have the strength to take the G forces created in a crash. This can only happen with time for the body to mature and be stronger. The two models that I like for this stage are - the Roundabout and the Marathon by Britax. These two offer the parent great features and benefits plus ease of use that is unsurpassed.
Next they will be moving to booster seats. This is still a necessity to improve the results in safety if there were a crash. When you�re done with your convertible seat, move to a booster seat. I recommend the Compass B-500. It�s an excellent seat made from polystyrene and is comfortable and user friendly.
I have heard parents say they felt it was just a waste of money to keep buying seats until the age of at least 8 years old and 80 pounds, but if you want to give your child a reasonable chance of surviving an accident and reducing the chance of being severely injured, a booster is a must.
Use child safety restraints, use them correctly and learn how to use them from a professional certified technician.
Make every ride for your children the ride of their lives.
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