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Child car seats explainedBack

We have recently blogged on how to get started when it comes to buying the first car seat for your little one, but now it’s time to explore in more depth the different types of car seat available.

It’s worth noting that it is now a legal requirement that all children must travel in a suitable car seat until they reach the age of 12, or become 1.35 metres tall (whichever comes first), so it is well worth learning as much as you can about car seats as they will prove to be a big investment for you throughout your child’s first twelve years!

So, if you’re thinking about changing your child’s car seat and you’re not sure what type you may need next, the team at Trusted Dealers can provide you with all the information you’ll need below.

Infant car seats

These are the car seats which are intended for newborn babies up to the approximate weight of 9 kilograms or 20 pounds. This type of car seat is designed to provide greater protection to your baby’s head, neck and spine and is a rear-facing car seat. It has been advised by experts that the safest place to fix your infant car seat is behind the passenger seat, but if you do have to put it in the front, always make sure you de-activate the airbag to prevent causing serious injury to your baby.

Key questions on infant car seats

Key questions to ask when searching for the right infant car seat include checking whether the seat is in a reclining position, a key feature which ensures your child’s head, neck and back are fully supported. Does it contain a head pillow – this is particularly important in your baby’s first few weeks as it provides additional cushioning for your child’s head. Make sure that you infant car seat contacts a three or five point safety harness and front adjusting straps for ease of use.

Combination car seats

If you prefer to opt for a combination car seat as opposed to an infant car seat, these are suitable for newborn babies up to 18 kilograms in weight or 4 years old. Combination car seats can be adapted from rear facing to front facing which saves you money on buying two different types of car seat. However, the drawback to this type of seat is that it tends to be heavy, so difficult to transfer from car to car if you only intend to buy one model.

Forward facing car seats

This car seat is usually the second car seat you will purchase in your child’s life. It is suitable for children who have exceeded the 9 kilogram weight limit of an infant car seat. This type of seat is designed to provide cushioning and a high amount of safety protection for your child. You can secure this type of seat with either an ISOFIX base or an adult seat belt. The car seat also contains a 5-point harness with an adjustment mechanism to secure your child correctly within the seat.

High back booster seats (also referred to as Group 2/3 car seats)

Once your child reaches the age of four or exceeds 15 kilograms in weight, it’s time to change your car seat once again and hopefully for the last time. High back booster seats are designed to adapt to the growth of your child. Booster seats enable children to be secured using a standard diagonal seat belt in the front or back of a car, or you can purchase an ISOFIX booster seat if you wish. Booster seats with backs and head rests are recommended as they provide maximum protection and comfort on longer journeys and many models have extendable headrests which ‘grow’ with your child. Some models offer extra padding, arm rests, side wings and even cup holders!

Posted by Leana Kell on 10/02/2012