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How can I choose the right car seat for my child?

Selecting the right car seat is just one of many decisions you face as a parent. Even if you abide by the rules of the road every time you are behind the wheel, accidents can still occur and failing to properly restrain young children in moving vehicles can have tragic consequences. Fortunately for Colorado families, the following tips can take some of the guesswork out of finding the right car seat.

Parents recommends using your child’s height, weight and age as a guide when shopping around for a car seat. You should also consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle to determine the proper placement. Certain seats may not fit into your specific vehicle, which can diminish a car seat’s ability to protect your child. You can also solicit the assistance of a local passenger safety technician, who can guide you in actually installing the seat within in your vehicle.

Additionally, different types of car seats are made to accommodate a range of children. In general, older kids with a weight greater than 40 pounds can utilize a booster seat placed in the back of a vehicle. Conversely, rear-facing seats are best for very small children, such as infants or newborns. Once your child reaches the maximum height and weight limit for a rear-facing seat, he or she can be moved to a forward-facing model.

You should also be wary of seats with simple latching mechanisms, as rambunctious kids can easily free themselves during a drive. Instead, opt for a seat with two-piece fasteners, which makes it more difficult for children to unlatch. Seats that utilize your vehicle’s existing seat-belt system should be fastened securely in order to prevent the car seat from shifting side to side as the vehicle is in motion. 

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