How to Choose the Best Car Seat for Your Infant or Toddler

car seat accidentCar seats are necessary for every infant and toddler. If you have ever gone shopping for a car seat, you know that there are so many options that it can be overwhelming to narrow down your choices. How do you know which one is best for your child? Which car seat will protect them most in the event of a car accident?

Here are some protection features of car seats that can help you narrow down your selection.

  • Harness Type – Infants and toddlers alike need a harness that will guarantee the best fit. The most recommended type is the five-point harness with wide straps.
  • Harness Straps with TwoPiece Chest Clips – When you have a singular chest clip, there is greater risk of the straps twisting and causing discomfort to your child. It is also unsafe if the vehicle should collide with another motorist or object. An added benefit to a two-point chest clip is that it is more difficult for a child to unbuckle themselves.
  • Adjusting Mechanism for Front Harness – Looking for car seats with this safety feature will help you ensure a snug fit every time you buckle your child in. Tighten it to the point where you cannot pinch parts of the strap away from the child’s shoulder. SAFETY TIP: Do not buckle in infants or toddlers wearing bulky clothes, like jackets. Remove the jacket, buckle them in, and then put the jacket on top of them like a blanket for warmth.
  • Routing Path for Seat Belts – Car seats are secured with the seat belts in the car. Take a look at some buckling tips for the different shapes of car seats models. These tips address how certain types of vehicle seats can make it difficult to install a rear-facing car seat.
  • Head and Wing Padding – Car seats that have extra foam above and to the sides of the seat will keep infants from rolling around too much upon impact. They will also provide a bit of a shield against projectiles.

Other notable safety features you may want to explore are car seat base options, weight limits and adjustable slots for growing children.

protect car seatAll children under the age of two are strongly encouraged by the CDC to be placed in rear-facing car seats in the middle of the back seat of the car. This placement will protect them from head-on, rear end and side-impact car accidents. The rear-facing position will help protect your child from rolling forward from the force of a collision. Here’s a great video to explain how car seats absorb the force and help protect your baby.

Infant car seats will only be effective for babies under a certain height and weight. Convertible car seats are ideal for infants transitioning into toddler height and weight. Adjustable headrests help protect your child as they experience growth spurts. For a more in-depth look, here are the differences in harnesses and booster seats available for toddlers.

Accidents with children in the car are sometimes unavoidable. This is why making sure your child has the right safety equipment in their car seat or booster seat will help protect them from serious injuries. Babies and toddlers can suffer many injuries in a car accident, including cuts from broken glass, pinched or broken limbs and even skull fractures or brain injuries. The risk of these types of injuries turning fatal is exponentially higher if a car seat was not properly installed. The sheer force of a car crash impact can also unbuckle the child or even force expulsion of the car seat with the infant within it.

Infants properly strapped in car seats have a 71 percent likelihood of surviving a car crash. Our Phoenix car accident attorneys cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring your infant and toddler are always in their car seat and buckled up when the vehicle is in motion. We also strongly encourage all parents and guardians to get their car seats inspected on a routine basis at their local fire station or car seat event.

If your baby was injured in a car accident by an assumed defective car seat or the negligence of another driver, we want to talk to you. Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience law firm is dedicated to helping representing victims of Phoenix car accidents. We do not collect payment until you receive a settlement. Share with us your account of the accident during our free consultation. Get in touch with us by phone or schedule your appointment online!