Tips for Choosing a Car Seat
Safety is every parent’s number one concern, but sometimes buying a car seat can get complicated. We’ve put together some tips to help you choose which car seat to buy for your precious bundle.
- Your child’s age, growth and development determine which stage of car seat they’re in: stage one is rear facing, stage two is forward facing, and stage three is booster seat. Each stage has guidelines set by the Canadian Government as to the weight and height a child should be for every stage.
- Make sure to follow the specific weight and height requirements for the car seat you want to purchase.
- Try it out – not only should your child’s car seat be the right size, but your child shouldbe comfortable, otherwise they’re more likely to be miserable while they’re in the car.
- Get some bang for your buck – some car seats can be used for more than one stage.
Don’t rush to graduate your child to just a seatbelt if they are within the weight requirements for a booster. It is always safer to use a booster seat
If you want to buy a second hand car seat…
- Make sure it is not expired. Each car seat comes with an expiry date which is printed on the seat and in the owners manual.
- Car seats must meet the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard and have a National Safety mark on them.
- The restraint and five-point harness must be in good working order.
- The seller must be able to provide the warnings and guidelines for use, installation instructions and date of manufacture.
- Never buy a car seat that was in a vehicle collision. If the seller cannot provide the history of the car seat, do not buy it.
A car seat should be replaced if…
- your car seat is expired.
- your seat shows excessive wear and tear.
- the car your seat is installed in has been in an accident, regardless of if your child was in the seat or not.