How to Buy the Right Car Seat for Your Child

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How to Buy the Right Car Seat for Your Child

A car seat is required to secure a child while they are travelling by car. The choice of car seat depends on the age of the child, but more importantly the child's individual height and weight. Not all car seats fit all makes and models of cars. When shopping for a car seat for your child, you need to determine whether a particular car seat is compatible with your car. You also need to make sure that the car seat has been manufactured in accordance with the highest safety standards. A good car seat is also one that is easy to get in and out of the car.

While car seats are available from department stores, and high street baby specialty stores, eBay can boast the biggest range of car seats and car seat related accessories. Regardless of the retailer or venue, you should enquire about manufacturer weight and height limitations for a car seat as well as assess the benefits and limitations of particular types of car seats..

Car Seats and the Age of the Child

Car seats vary in size and configuration to accommodate children of various ages and sizes and to fit into particular makes of cars. If the car seat is easy to to get in and out of your car, you are more more likely to use it every time your child rides in the car. Having specific information about the size of your child, as well how a car seat is secured in your car, goes a long way in helping you buy the right car seat for your child.

Child safety experts do recommend that you keep your child in a car seat as long as the manufacturer's height and weight requirements allow. Children should always sit in the back of the car.

Birth to 12 Months

For their safety, any child under the age of one should ride seated in a rear-facing car seat.. There are a variety of rear-facing car seats to choose from, and knowing which type is right for your child is important. For instance, infant-only seats can only be secured in a rear-facing position. A '3-in-1' car seat is a rear-facing car seat that has a higher height and weight limit. In a crash, this type of car seat cradles and moves with the seated baby to reduce stress and strain to the baby's fragile neck and spine.

One to Three Years of Age

Keeping your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible is the surest way to keep her safe. A rear-facing car seat can be used until your child reaches the limits of the height and weight requirements for that particular style of car seat. When she has reached that limit, she can then graduate to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.

Four to Seven Years of Age

Children between four and seven years of age should remain in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they have reached the maximum height and weight limit for that type of car seat. When that limit has been reached, it is time to move on to a booster seat. A booster seat allows the car's seat belt to fit properly fit over the strongest parts of the child's body.

Eight to 12 Years of Age

Although many would think that by age eight a child is big enough to forego a car or booster seat,, that couldn't be further from the truth. You should keep your child in a booster seat until she is big enough to sit on the vehicle seat with the car seat belt fitting properly across her lap and shoulders. However, even if she is big enough to move on from a forward-facing car seat, the back seat is still the safest and best place for her to ride in the car.

The following chart provides a quick reference for the type of car seats appropriate for children at various stages of their lives, and the general height and weight limits for each type of car seat.

Age of Child

Type of Car Seat

Height Limit

Weight Limit

0-3

Rear-facing infant-only

66 cm

9 to 10 kg

0-3

Rear-facing infant-only convertible

66 cm

10 to 14 kg

4-7

Forward-facing with harness

107 cm

14 to 27 kg

4-7

Combination car seat

107 cm

14 to 27 kg

8-12

Booster Seat

122 cm

27 to 36 kg

12 and Older

Car seat belt

122 cm to 138 cm

36 kg to 45 kg

Manufacturer's individual height and weight limits may vary. Therefore, be sure to check the manual supplied with your car seat for the seat's vital specifications.

Types of Car Seats

Because the safest place for a child is in a car seat, it is important to choose the right one. Some car seats will take a child from infancy to the point where they graduate to a booster seat. While others are only suitable for children at particular points in their development.

Infant Car Seat (Rear-Facing Only)

Infant-only car seats can only be used as a rear-facing car seat. This type of car seat is designed to be portable. They are lightweight and easier to carry than other types of car seats.

Convertible Car Seats

A convertible car seat allows for both rear-facing and forward-facing configurations. However, just because the seat is capable of being used as a forward-facing car seat does not mean the baby should be placed in that position.

All-in-One or 3-in-1 Car Seats

All-in-One and 3-in-1 seats allow you to use the same car seat for rear-facing, forward-facing with a harness, and as a booster seat for older children.

Combination Car Seats

Combination car seats convert from a forward-facing car seat with a harness to a booster seat with a full harness. It is a good idea to keep your child in a full harness for as long as possible.

Booster Seats

A booster seat raises your child into a position that allows the vehicle's lap and shoulder belt to fit securely across the child's body. Using a booster seat keeps the harness from injuring your child's upper body. There are three types of booster seats: high-back, backless, and combination.

High-Back Booster Seats

It is best to use a high-back booster if your car has a low seat back which cannot properly support a child's head in the event of an accident.

Backless Booster Seats

If your vehicle does provide proper support for your child's head, a backless booster seat is suitable.

Combination or All-in-One Car Seats Used as Booster Seats

After your child has grown out of the front-facing harness car seat and into a booster, you can convert this car seat to a booster seat by following the manufacturer's instructions for conversion.

Car Seat Connections and Cars

It is important to find a car seat that fits your car's car seat connection. Many car seats require an anchor to latch the strap hook. If your car does not have an anchor, this type of car seat may not work with your car. There are many types of car seats and connection devices. Before buying a car seat, make sure the car seat is compatible with your vehicle's car seat connection.

Latch Install Infant-Only Car Seat

These car seats generally come with a base that is attached to the vehicle anchor. This base stays behind in the car when the car seat is removed from the car. After latching the hook end of the straps onto the anchor, place your knee into the base and press down with all of your body weight. Simultaneously pull the slack from the belt to firmly attach the car seat base. The car seat itself clicks securely into the base.

Shoulder and Lap Belt Install Infant-Only Car Seat

Similar to the latch-install car seats, this type of car seat sits in a rear-facing position in the car. Simply thread the seat belt through the belt path on the car seat and buckle it. Use your knee and press into the seat to pull the slack out of the belt. Remember that with both styles of rear-facing infant car seats your baby needs to sit at a 45 degree angle to keep her airway open and keep her from slumping.

Latch-Install Forward-Facing Toddler Seat

Toddlers who are too big for a rear-facing car seat use forward-facing car seats. Using the weight of your body, compress the seat and attach the latch to the anchor behind it. Pull as tight as possible. This type of car seat has a tether that is attached to the top of the car seat and once anchored prevents the car seat, and your baby's head, from snapping forward. Depending on the vehicle, this anchor can be found on the cargo bay floor, the ceiling, under the seat, behind the seat, or along the rear window shelf. After attaching the tether, pull tight. Be sure not to attach the tether to a sliding seat adjuster or a cargo hook. Never hook more than one car seat to a single anchor.

Shoulder and Lap Belt Install Forward-Facing Toddler Seat

Toddlers who are too big for rear-facing car seats graduate to forward-facing car seats. Thread the vehicle seat belt through the seat belt path and buckle it. Some car seats of this type have a 'lock-off clip' on the side of the car seat that locks the seat belt in place. If the car seat does not have this feature, pull the seat belt all the way out and then let it retract and lock. Pull the seat belt as tight as possible and unbuckle it. Find the H-shaped lock clip provided with the car seat and wrap the tail of the seat belt around it until it is tight against the latch plate, and then re-buckle it. The lap belt is responsible for keeping this type of car seat secure, so it is extremely important to ensure that the belt remains tightly fastened. If the seat moves more than 2.5 cm after installing it, tighten it again or reinstall the car seat.

How to Buy the Right Car Seat for Your Child on eBay

When you are ready to buy a car seat on eBay, start your search by entering keywords into the search bar on eBay's home page. For example, if you enter a phrase like 'forward-facing car seat ' into the search bar, then hundreds of listings for that type of car seat appear on the results page. You can narrow the focus of your search by applying various filters related to the colour of the car seat, preferred brand, condition (new or used), and price, as well as the status of the seller.

When you have narrowed down the search to just a few listings, read the item description carefully. If the car seat is used, examine the photos of the car seat very carefully and look for any signs of wear and tear, and obvious damage. If you are not sure if the car seat is compatible with your car, reach out to the seller by contacting them by way of the contact link in their profile page.

While on their profile page, consider reading the feedback left by previous customers. The seller's feedback score is based on performance scores and the quality of the merchandise as rated by previous buyers. A Top-Rated Seller has a history of meeting or exceeding all of eBay's seller policies. They also have the highest feedback scores.

Conclusion

A car seat is one of the most important purchases you make for your child. When considering which type of car seat to buy, it is important to research the types of car seats available, the age range that is recommended for each type of car seat, the height and weight limitations, and the type of restraint that it employs. In addition, determine what type of installation it requires: whether it utilises an anchor, or uses only the vehicle shoulder and lap belts. It is important to determine whether a specific car seat is the right one for your child. It should provide adequate support and protection for a child's weight and height and stage of development. eBay offers rear-facing, infant-only car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats, making it possible for you to find the right car seat for your child no matter what your child's age, height, or weight may be.

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