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Infant Car Seats: Higher Price Doesn’t Ensure Increased Safety

For some parents, price is no object when making purchases for their children, especially when it comes to safety gear such as infant car seat reviews. Infant car seats can be a costly purchase, with prices starting at $60 and often costing well over $100. Well-meaning parents think that the more expensive infant car seats will provide a higher level of protection for their child; however, a February 2007 Consumer Reports test shows that the higher price models don’t always perform as well as the more moderately priced car seats (note that Consumer Reports does plan to do some additional testing to confirm these results – the below results reflect their testing as of Janurary 2007).

evenflo infant car seat

Armadillo Stroller

Armadillo Stroller

As background, when the federal government tests infant car seats, it ensures that they can survive a 30 mph frontal crash. Consumer Reports decided to go a step further and determine whether the car seats would be able to withhold crashes at both higher speeds and with side-impacts. Tests were completed with infant car seats installed using both the automobile’s seat belt system and by using LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), the federally mandated installation system. According to Consumer Reports, the only infant car seats which passed their tests using both methods were the Baby Trend Flex-Loc Adjustable Back seat and the Graco Snugride with EPS seat. The retail price for each of these seats is $90, well below the price of others that only passed using the vehicle safety belt system. More expensive infant car seats that did not pass all of the Consumer Reports tests include the popular Peg Perego Primo Viaggio SIP (priced at $230), the Britax Companion (priced at $190) and the Eddie Bauer Comfort (now discontinued, but was priced at $200). The cheapest model of the grouping, the Evenflo Discovery (priced at $60) failed all aspects of testing and was deemed “not acceptable” by Consumer Reports.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) agrees that a higher priced infant car seat does not necessarily guarantee more protection for the child. On its website, the AAP states that “all car safety seats available for purchase in the United States must meet very strict safety standards established and maintained by the federal government” and suggests that more expensive infant car seats have more features such as headrests or detachable bases that may or may not improve the seat safety. Indeed, when parents rate infant car seats on websites such as Amazon or Babies ‘R Us, they often focus on the way that the car seat looks instead of whether or it seems to be safer for their child. In the future, parents will want to consider that more expensive infant car seats do not necessarily provide more protection for their child.

 

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How to Purchase a Combination Car Seat and Stroller Baby Travel System

An infant baby travel system offers the convenience of coordinating an infant car seat and baby stroller in one combination unit. The best infant car seat 2015 attaches to the baby stroller and it also comes with a base that goes into the car. This way you can take the baby from the car to the stroller without ever removing him from the car seat itself.

infant car seat canopy

Baby strollers that are part of a baby stroller travel system are called convenience strollers. They fold easily to be fit into the trunk of the car for trips or placed away in a closet when not in use. The infant car seat attaches to the stroller so that the baby faces you when you are pushing the stroller. This makes it easy to keep an eye on the baby, and the way that the seat is placed into the baby stroller travel system allows the baby to stay in a reclined position that is comfortable for him.

A baby travel system is a great investment for any parent to be. Once the baby outgrows the infant car seat he may be placed into the baby stroller without the infant car seat attached. Baby strollers that are part of a baby travel system are built to last throughout the first 2-4 years of a baby’s life depending on how quickly the child grows.

Baby Stroller Travel System Stroller Features:

When shopping for a baby travel system, there are many features that you should look for. All baby strollers should have a five point harness system for safety when securing the baby into the stroller. For convenience purposes, it is nice to get a baby stroller travel system that has a baby stroller that will fold easily with one hand so that you can place it into its storage area.

Make sure that your baby stroller travel system comes equipped with a seat that will recline into multiple positions for your baby’s comfort. It is also nice to have an adjustable canopy that will keep the sun off of the baby when he is in the baby travel system. For your convenience and for the convenience of your baby, most baby strollers will come equipped with trays that will hold cups.

Other important features to look for in a baby stroller travel system stroller are wheel functions such as large wheels that can be used easily on all types of turf and brakes that can easily be set with a foot lever. Most baby strollers that come as part of a baby stroller travel system are safe for children up to about 40 pounds, so look for a baby travel system that has durability and will last approximately 4 years.

Baby Travel System Infant Car Seat Features:

Every baby travel system will come with a matching infant car seat and a base that can be placed into the car. The infant car seat should include a five point harness for safety and energy absorbing foam that will provide maximum protection in the event of an accident. The foam will be attached underneath the seat pad.

Most infant baby travel systems will come with a LATCH equipped base that can be left in the car at all times. The infant car seat will easily latch onto the base for car rides and then can be removed from the base to be attached to the stroller during outings. The car base should be adjustable so that it can properly position the infant car seat in any vehicle.

For your convenience, look for an baby travel system that includes an infant car seat that has a curved handle. The curved handle will make it easier to carry the seat. Infant car seats are awkward to carry when the handle is not curved as they tend to bump into your leg more when held beside you. A curved handle allows you to carry the infant car seat beside you without it bumping against your leg.

 

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Car Seat Safety – What You Don’t Know

Car seats can often be found nestled in the aisles between the stuffed animals and strollers, but they are far from being a simple choice. These serious and often complex pieces of equipment require research. Find out before you buy how compatible they are with your mode of transportation. Not all best infant car seats suit all cars, or all children for that matter.

Peg perego infant car seat

You probably know about the importance of infant car seats. You probably also know they need to be positioned in the rear facing position. But did you know that you need a transitional seat between the infant carrier model and the convertible seat facing forward? It’s true. Once an infant outgrows their first car seat, typically between 20 and 22 pounds and 26- to 27 inches, they can be moved to a convertible seat, facing toward the rear still.

This is the first of 5 tips to ensure the safety of a child in a car seat:

Tip 1. Do Not Rush to Turn the Car Seat Forward.

The longer your baby stays facing toward the rear, the better chance his spine will be supported in the event of a collision. There is no such thing as a minor fender bender when there is an infant in the car.

The general rule is that the baby should be one year and 20 pounds at the absolute bare minimum. It is recommended that no child be turned to face forward under one years of age, regardless of their weight.

Tip 2. Avoid Car Seat Accessories.

The numerous toys and tightening devices on the market should not be attached to the car seat. These after market accessories have not been tested or held to the same standards as the car seats themselves.

Specifically, tightening devices are gadgets that are intended to take up slack in the seat belt. The possibility of these detaching and becoming a dangerous projectile in the case of a crash are high and so, should not be used.

Toy bars that did not come with the car seat should be avoided as well. The area in front of a child should be clear of potential hazards. The same can be said for comfort products that attach to the harness straps. The problem with these lies in the fact that the padding can make it hard to know how effective the straps are in the event of an accident or even short stop. The padding can negate a seat’s performance.

Tip 3. Use Recommended Products.

Surprisingly the recommended products for making the ride more comfortable for your baby are inexpensive and commonsense items rather than pricey accessories. These include a rolled up receiving blanket placed alongside an infant to keep them snugly in place. Blankets or towels can also be placed around an infant’s floppy head to give them extra support. Short lengths of pool noodles can also be used in place of a rolled piece of fabric. The advantage to using these foam rolls is that they can be custom cut to fit and are simple to rinse off and replace as needed.

Tip 4. Walk Away from Used Car Seats.

Secondhand car seats are not a good idea. If car seat safety is important to you, then purchase an up to date model. Give your child the best possible shot at a safe car trip with up-to-date protection. If it is a financially difficult to purchase a new car seat, ask at the hospital if there are any programs in place that supply car seats, they can put you in touch with a charitable organization, or may be a provider themselves.

Tip 5. Locate a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

Schedule an appointment. Be aware that there is often a waiting list, so sign up early if expecting your first child and want to be sure the seat is placed properly. If there is not a technician in your area, visit the Safety Belt Safe USA website for more helpful tips, including recall information and proper installation.

 

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