What to Look For When You’re Choosing a Car Seat for Your Child

Choosing right car seat for your child is an important task. There are various car seat recalls, car seats for various ages and sizes of children, and varying prices. Correct installation can prove to be a little more difficult than expected as well. It is crucial that you select the right car seat for your child – and it must meet federal safety regulations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is making efforts to help parents more easily find and purchase a safe car seat.

The first step is to understand the age and size recommendations for your child. Car seats are manufactured for children from the time of birth through to age 13. You must choose the car seat that fits your child’s weight and age. Not every car seat will fit in every vehicle, and if you own a smaller car or have limited space in the rear seat, you will need to be more careful about the style and model you choose, and should test the product or access the manufacturer’s website for information before you buy.

Baby Car Seats

All baby car seats are back-facing, include a harness, and are manufactured to move with the child should a car accident occur, and protect the delicate neck and spinal cord areas. Your baby will grow out of this car seat by about 8 or 9 months of age. Some of the car seats on the market will grow with your child, and can be easier on the wallet, allowing you to add or change components as the child grows. Keep your child in the rear-facing seat as long as possible – it is safer.

Child Car Seats

Depending upon the age of your child, he or she may require a forward facing booster-style seat, or a rear-facing seat. Carefully read the specifications of the car seat before you purchase. The wrong size or type of car seat can put your child in danger if you are involved in a car accident.


There are many car seats that have been recalled over the years. These seats can be returned for repairs, which the manufacturer will complete at no charge. It is important for parents to be aware of any car seat recalls, particularly if you have purchased a used car seat, or are using a seat that your older children used. A recall in 2014 of 7.4 million car seats with defective buckles resulted in only 40% of these seats being sent for repair.

You should register your car seat, even if you purchased it used, with the NHTSA so you are alerted if that model has been or is later recalled. Some of the car seat recalls in the past ten years include models produced by Baby Trend, Graco, Britax, Chicco, Cosco, Combi, Dorel, Eddie Bauer, DJG, Maxi-Cosi, Alpha Elite, Evenflo, Miamoda, Orbit, Peg Perego, Recaro, Cybex, and other manufacturers. Be informed by accessing information about current and past car seat recall notices at safercar.gov. Not all models from a manufacturer may have been recalled, and you will need to find the model number on the car seat to determine whether it is safe to use.

Connect with an attorney such as James M. Poe, P.C. if your child was injured and you need legal help to seek justice.

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