Safety seats for infants and children are required by law. But shopping for the right car seat can be overwhelming.
We know: Facts About Child Car Seats
A MATTER OF WEIGHT AND AGE
Seats are basically designed for the weight and age of your child. There are three stages.
Here’s an explanation of the basic types of car seats available and a listing of those that are easiest to use. The ease-of-use rating comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTAS).
TYPES OF CHILD CAR SEATS
Some child car seats are one-use, some are dual-use. Infants seats are just for infants, booster seats are just for older kids. But many infant and booster seats can be converted so that toddlers can use them, too. These are called combination or convertible seats.
As you can see, you may need to buy more than one seat before your son or daughter demands to move into the one up front and behind the wheel.
Infant Car Seat (single-use, rear facing)
For babies under one year and 20 pounds. This seat faces the rear of the car. Many infant car seat models can also be used with strollers. Among the NHTSA’s choices for easiest to use infant car seats are: Baby Trend Latch Loc, Evenflo Discovery, Graco Snug Ride, Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio.
Convertible Car Seat (dual-use, rear and forward facing)
Designed for both babies under 1 year old and toddlers up to 40 pounds. This seat is used rear-facing, and then can be converted to forward facing as the child grows.
Among the NHTSA’s choices for easiest to use convertible car seats are: Britax Advantage, Evenflo Tribute, and Graco Comfort Sport
Toddler Convertible Seat (dual-use, forward facing only)
Another dual-use seat. The toddler convertible is designed for kids between 20-40 pounds, and then can be reconfigured as a booster seat when the child is between 40-80 pounds.
Among the NHTSA’s choices for easiest to use toddler convertible car seats are: Evenflo Chase Comfort Touch, Graco Cargo Platnium and Safety First Vantage Pt (B).
Booster Seat (single-use forward facing only)
For kids between 30 and 100 pounds.
Among the NHTSA’s choices for easiest to use booster car seats are: Cosco Auto Booster, Evenflo Sightseer, Graco Turbo Booster HB and Safety First.