Best Car Seat Buying Tips
Buying a car seat isn’t something that should be rushed. Not only are car seats somewhat expensive (nearing $500+ for designer brands and extensive models), but they also are the most vital aspect of safety for your child in a vehicle. Not only can these car seats be the one thing that saves a child’s life when there is a car accident, but on the other hand they can be deadly projectiles that seriously injure a child and others in the car when there is a collision. Fortunately, when you take the time to research a car seat and buy a new one with proper registration, then you can drive safely knowing you’ve done everything within your power to keep your little one safe!
Five Top Car Seat Shopping Tips
1. Always Buy New
There are many reasons to buy a new car seat as opposed to a used one; however the main reason is strictly for safety. First, car seats have expiration dates that must be adhered to, and when you buy a used car seat you may end up inadvertently purchasing a car seat that is out of date and poses a significant health risk to the child and anyone in the car.
In addition to the car seat possibly expiring, you also never know what damage has occurred prior to you receiving the car seat. There could be unseen damage to the frame or buckling mechanisms on the seat. If anything is damaged, the seat and the child could become projectiles in the event of a car accident – potentially causing immense damage to the child and anyone in the car.
2. Don’t Compromise Safety For Price
When it comes to car seats, you get what you pay for. Granted, all car seats sold in the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia are held to incredibly high safety standards that must be passed, that doesn’t mean that all the safety features for different car seats are equal. In fact, when you spend a bit more on some car seats, you get far greater head and neck protection due to the deep sides and thick energy absorbing padding. In addition to greater safety features, you’ll also find that more expensive car seats can be used longer by the child which ultimately lowers the overall cost.
3. Thoroughly Read Reviews
Reading reviews from owners of the seat you’re looking to buy will give you far more insight into its actual function and real life use. There are many car seats that are exhausted because of their safety ratings; however in practice the car seat is far too uncomfortable and ill-fitting for a child making it impossible to travel anywhere.
4. Always Buy From A Reputable Seller
It’s always best to buy from a reputable seller so that you can return the car seat should there be any issues. Additionally, when a child’s safety is at stake it’s always essential that you don’t take any shortcuts to save money. Buying from eBay, Amazon, and other large online sellers ensures that you’re protected as a buyer and that your product is also covered under the warranty.
5. Immediately Register Your Product
There are many times with products that something is recalled months later, even with car seats. No matter how reputable the seller is, be it Graco, Evenflo, or some other major manufacturer, they’re not exempt from mistakes. The best way to be alerted of any issues with your car seat is to register your car seat with the manufacturer. This way if something arises later you’ll be notified either via email or post about the issue and steps to take afterwards.
If you purchase your car seat new, there will be product registration information along with the rest of the paperwork. Make sure to put in your actual address and contact information, and to update it if you move!