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Car Seat Safety and Shopping Guide

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The most important purchase you'll make before having your baby is a car safety seat. You will need one to bring your baby home from the hospital and for every car trip thereafter. More children are killed or injured in car crashes than in any other type of accident, so it pays to buckle them up in a car seat. Every state has a law requiring babies and children to ride buckled up.

The following sections will give you information on choosing, installing, and using a car seat.

Car Seat Basics

There is no one "best" car seat. However, any seat you consider should meet federal guidelines and should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. You might wish to try out the car seat in your car before purchasing it. Many stores provide a doll to use to figure out what it will be like to put your child into the car seat.

If you want to use a used car seat, keep the following points in mind. Never use a car seat that:

  • Has been in a crash

  • Has any cracks in the shell

  • Has frayed straps

  • Is too old. Check the label to see when the seat was made. Check with the manufacturer to find out how long it recommends using the seat.

  • Has no manufacturer's instructions for installation and use

  • Is missing the model number (needed to check for recalls and upgrades)

  • Has been recalled

 
 

 
 
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Member comments

Cushion for child car seat
Hi, My 2 years 5 months old daughter has a car seat (Safety 1st Guide 65) and she is quite fussy a..

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