Best Car Seats and Safety Guidelines
Top 10 Car Seats And Safety Report
When a new member comes into the family, we adapt the whole house for him or her: we buy a crib, a stroller, baby bottles and we look for the best special foods that our wallet can afford.
We make so much effort that we sometimes overlook their safety in the car. No, your arms unfortunately are not able to protect your children during an accident.
That’s when the importance of a good quality car seat enters the picture. Among its functions (in addition to retaining children in their place) is to help reduce injuries.
Studies in California have shown that child restraint systems reduce the risk of injury by 90%.
These numbers are staggering and should remind us to plan ahead and drive safe. Learn about reducing stress while driving.
For this reason, we’ve chosen 10 of the best car seats available in order to help you pick the most appropriate for you and your family.
In addition, we’ve provided a safety guideline to help you reduce the risk of a car seat-related auto accident.
- Combi Coccoro
The smaller spaces can accommodate the Combi Coccoro – in fact, three of its models could fit comfortably in the rear seat. Safety features include a five-point harness system that can be adjusted with a single pull, side impact protection, energy absorbing foam that cradles the baby in the event of an accident, and four height positions to grow with the baby.
It also has a removable infant insert for newborns that keeps smaller babies tight and safe. It has an affordable price of $240, one of the best boy car seats.
- Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX
The Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 LX is a widely popular car seat- and fits babies up to 35 lbs. So you can use it longer than other toddler car seats, which means more time with the comfort of being able to take it out of the base of the car and fit it into the stroller – and vice versa – without waking the baby.
It is compatible with all Graco Clic Connect strollers. It’s a cheap car seat, having a price of $190.
- Britax Marathon ClickTight
The Britax Marathon ClickTight is basically one step away from wrapping your baby in a bubble. It has a lot of high-tech safety components that protect the infant. You lift the seat, tighten the belt buckle of the car and turn it on.
It also has a weight capacity of 65 lbs, and a harness that fits easily to the child’s growth. With a price sitting at $330, it’s considered one of the safest car seats.
- Chicco KeyFit 30
The Chicco KeyFit 30 can protect babies from a minimum of 4 lbs. It comes with energy absorbing foam and a bubble level that tells you when you are installing it in the right angle. It is also compatible with several Chicco strollers. It has a price of $180, and is one of the best car seats for babies.
- Maxi-Cosi Pria 85
The Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 is a convertible car seat that allows you to sit your child from 14 lbs to 85, keeping him safe in his harness. Its soft padding is comfortable and protects against side impact shocks.
You can also remove the seat pad and harness liner and place them in the washing machine without uninstalling the seat. It has a commercial price of $300; one of the best girl car seats.
- Cybex Cloud Q Plus
This new rear facing car seat (which arrived on the markets in early 2015) becomes totally flat for long trips with the baby. There is no need to change to a bassinet. Great as a toddler car seat, with a price of $399.
- Summer Infant Prodigy
This model has “SmartScreen Technology”, which means a screen in the base of the car seat and an application that you can download to your phone – it will guide you through the installation process and tell you when the seat is fully secured and leveled. $220 is the price you’ll have to pay for it.
- Evenflo ProComfort Amp LX Belt Positioning Booster
This infant car seat is made for road trips. It has reading lights, two cup holders and Matrix Gel technology for comfort. You can fit your child from 30 lbs to 110 lbs as a high backrest.
It removes the backrest after four years of age and weights of 40 to 110 lbs. With a price of $60 it’s one of the cheapest car seats.
- Uppa Baby Mesa
The toddler car seat received a 5-star rating for ease of use from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and weighs only 11.1 lbs. It’s a beautiful 3 in 1 car seat, with an affordable price of $280.
- 40RF del Cosco APT
This is one of the cheapest (and most reliable) infant car seats in the market. The model is compatible with babies from 5 lbs to 40 lbs and up to 40 inches in height, keeping them looking back (alias in the safest position) all the time.
It also features side impact protection, an adjustable harness, and practical cup holders. With a price tag of $58, it has one of the most competitive car seat prices in the market.
Safety Guidelines and Security Tips
- Child car safety laws
The California Child Passenger Safety Law is the most important law regarding the safety of children in cars; this law states that parents are obliged to keep their children tucked in a seat with their gaze towards the back of the vehicle until age 2. Check out new laws for 2017.
This was endorsed by both physicians and law enforcement agencies, who pointed out that in the event of an accident, minor injuries could be prevented more successfully if the child was turned backwards, protecting the head and spine.
Children who weigh more than 40 lbs or who are over 40 inches will be exempt from this law. Read more about airbag injuries.
- Car seats save lives
According to a study in the academic journal Prevention of Injury, children under 2 years of age are less likely to die or suffer severe injuries if they are placed in a car seat turned towards the back of the vehicle.
- How long does a child have to be in car seat?
According to The California Child Passenger Safety Law, legally, a child has to be in a car seat until he or she reaches the age of 8.
The only exception to this rule is when a child under the age of 8 has a height of 4.9 feet, in which case he can be placed in the backseat with nothing more than a safe belt as restriction.
- Car seat lawsuits
According to NBC, Graco had to recall millions of its car seats nationwide during 2011 in response to pressure from federal safety regulators, including their “Nautilus” model, in which a toddler in Los Angeles died during a car fire after the buckle got stuck and her mother was unable to remove her from the seat.
A lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased infant over the August 2011 incident alleged that Graco “designed their ‘Nautilus’ car seat with parts that made it extremely difficult to remove a child that was secured in the seat during an emergency.” Car seat recall news is here.
- When should a child be in a booster seat?
According to the Californian law, booster seats can be used from the age of 4 years or so. However, these seats must be used with both a shoulder and a lap belt. When your toddler finally reaches 40 lbs of weight, it’s recommended to switch him to a booster seat.
- Rear facing car seat laws
Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill that requires babies up to two years of age to sit back and watch while traveling in a vehicle. It also makes it compulsory for every child under two years of age to go in the back seat of a vehicle.
Measure AB 53 presented by Assemblywoman Cristina García (D-Bell Gardens) will not apply to children who weigh more than 40 lbs or measure more than 40 inches. The law takes effect on January 1, 2017.
- Car seat safety check
- Place the harnesses of your seat facing back into the slots located at or below your baby’s shoulders. Make sure the harness is tight (not pinching any looseness between the fingers when testing the harness straps on the baby’s shoulders), and that the clasp is placed in the center of the chest at the level of the armpits of your child.
- Make sure that the car safety seat is installed firmly with the LATCH system or a safety belt latched. If you can move the seat by the belt way more than an inch from side to side or from front to back, it is not tight enough.
- Never place a seat in the front of a vehicle that has an active airbag in the passenger seat. If the airbag inflates, it would hit the back of the car safety seat, right where your baby’s head is, and could result in serious injury or death.
- If using a convertible or 3-in-1 seat in the rear-facing position, make sure that the seatbelt or lower anchorage tie is guided by the correct belt path.
- Refer to the instructions for extra safety.
- Make sure the seat is at the correct angle so your baby’s head does not move forward. See the instructions for the correct angle for your seat and how to adjust the angle if necessary.
- All modern toddler seats have built-in angle gauges or adjusters. Use them.
Being Prepared For Car Accidents
Car Seat Defects and Safety Hazards
You should never use a toddler car seat when they:
- Are too old. Look for the date of manufacture on the label. Check with the manufacturer to find out how long the seat is recommended.
- Have visible cracks.
- Do not have a label with the date of manufacture and the model number. Without this information you cannot find out if the seat has been withdrawn from the market.
- Do not bring instructions. You need them to know how to use the seat.
- Have missing parts. Safety seats used for cars are often missing important parts. Check with the manufacturer to make sure you can get the right parts.
- Have been withdrawn from the market.
- You can find out by calling the manufacturer or by contacting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) toll-free hotline at 888-327-4236.