Whenever purchasing a portable child safety seat for your infant or toddler you must put a lot of thought into it. After all it is precious cargo you are transporting. There are several different types and models of automobile seats but don’t let this discourage you. As long as you do your research picking the right automobile seat will be simple.
It is also important to note that you never use a used carseat older than two years or one that has any broken or missing pieces. This could result in serious injury to your child.
Portable Baby Car Seats
All infants less than 20lbs or under one year of age should be in a rear-facing carseat. The infant automobile seat also doubles as a carrier which is very helpful. I know most parents want to find a portable baby seat that is attractive but remember when choosing a car seat safety first. Which leads me to a brand new automobile seat called Air Protect…
Air Protect has a type of built-in air bag just as our vehicles do. Upon severe impact it releases precise amounts of air focusing on the child’s head thus reduces head trauma. Although Air Protect is an exceptional choice there are several other carseats that are extremely safe as well. Experts along with parents have given Graco SnugRide and Baby Trend Flex-Loc excellent reviews for portable infant seats.
Portable Car Booster Seats
Portable booster seats are front-facing and very quick easy to install. A booster seat may have built in buckles or a harness or it may just use the seat belt in your car. Depending on the height of the child you can use whatever provides the most comfortable fit.
What is the best choice in booster car seats? Air Protect also makes vehicle’s seats for toddlers. Graco’s CarGo has excellent ratings from the experts as well and only weighs 8.5lbs. Unlike most other forward-facing seats, it also offers a slight recline and side wings to help with napping on the go.
Things to Remember
- The most essential thing when choosing the perfect child seat for your little one is checking the status of it’s safety ratings. Just because a carseat is expensive doesn’t mean that is necessarily more safe than a less expensive vehicle’s seat.
- The next thing to remember when purchasing a portable child safety seat is comfort. Your baby (child) must be comfortable in his/her carseat when traveling(see: travel car seat) or it won’t be enjoyable for anyone. It is also imperative that you find an automobile seat that is easy to use. If you buy a carseat that is too difficult to use you won’t be happy with your purchase. I suggest trying the baby seat out before you buying it or at least read all information on it first.
Choosing Portable Baby Car Seat
Today, portable baby seats are an affordable and also easy way for parents to travel with their infants. If you are one that travels with a child and tired of the full-size carseat and do not want to rent one by the day, then buying a portable baby seat should be considered.
With a portable carseat, there will be no more hauling around and checking in a big and bulky child seat and no more renting of a automobile seat while on a trip or vacation. It will only take a couple of times traveling before you see that you have saved a lot with this decision.
A portable vehicle’s seat for your baby is a very important and much needed safety device that should be regularly used. In many areas of the world it is now mandatory that all children be seated in the appropriate carseat for their age. The fines for not following this and also endangering a child’s safety are very hard.
Popular portable infant seat models used today include the Go Booster by Safe Guard, the Tote N Go by Cosco and the Eddie Bauer by the Bryant Collection.
Things to Keep in Mind
When selecting a portable baby seat, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind in order to ensure that you get the safest and best possible seat for your child.
- Rear or front facing. Some models can be used in both directions. Rear facing is much safer, and is required for babies. As the baby grows, their seat can be turned forward
- Weight and height limits. The size of the carseat will be determined by either weight or height, as both can greatly vary with age.
- Side protection. These are found in the mainstream automobile seat and protection more lateral protection.
- Adjustability of headrest. This type of headrest can be moved as the child grows.
- Comfort. This is important for any child to be able to sit in the carseat for any length of time.
- Size and weight. It needs to be a good size and weight to be able to carry easily when traveling.
- Easy installation. The seat needs to be easy and quick to install when traveling.
- FAA approved. There are some vehicle’s seats that have been approved by the FAA to be used in an aircraft, which could be very handy.
- Compatibility with strollers. This could be an advantage when having to travel after reaching a destination.
Choosing Portable Booster Seats For Toddlers
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a booster vehicle’s seat for children until they are 57 inches tall, which usually occurs between the ages of 8 and 12. There are many different kinds boosters available for toddlers today. To choose a one suitable for your child you need to buy one that matches their weight and their height.
- You will want to choose a seat that has a 5 point harness in it, which will spread the impact force equally over a child lessening the force on just one body part if you are involved in an accident. Another thing to consider is your child and how comfortable the seat will make them. Some come with head and arm rests, cup holders, reclining positions and removable backs that come off as your child grows.
- The seat should also elevate your child so that when using a seat belt it crosses the chest at the appropriate level and not to high, reducing injury during a crash.
- A combination seat can be bought which grows with your child and can be used as a carseat then converts into a booster. They are used like a child safety seat with the 5 point harness until your child outgrows it, then can be used as a booster seat, most commonly with a weight limit of 65 pounds. The simplest kind of booster is the backless kind, with hinges in the front so a regular seat belt can be used, mostly lasting until a weight of 100 pounds.
There are many different models of portable booster car seats available but these are some of the most highly recommended…
- Safeguard has 2 different models topping the list… The GO has a weight limit of 65 pounds and height limit of 57 inches. The Gomson has an adjustable 5 point harness, with a weight limit of 22-100 pounds, and a height limit of 31 to 57 inches. This portable seat is also compatible with the latch system, and has a detachable base for easier installation.
- The Safety 1st Summit has a weight limit of 22 to 40 pounds, but can then be adjusted to fit a seat belt with a weight limit then of 100 pounds.
- The Graco Nautilus has a weight limit of 20 to 100 pounds, a height limit of 27 to 57 inches, an adjustable 5 point harness and is a convertible seat.
The Importances of Portable Child Safety Seat
Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of kids because in many cases, children are not properly buckled into their safety seats. For children too large for safety seats a booster automobile seat is vital to ensure they fit safely in the vehicle’s seat belt.
If you are going to have children as passengers in your car you’ll need to check to see that their vehicle’s seat and booster seat are compatible with your vehicle.
Correctly installing a child’s safety seat can be a challenge. There are many, many models of kids safety seats, over 300 models of passenger vehicles with a wide range of seat types and belt systems on the market today. There are some kid’s safety seats that cannot be installed in every available vehicle and in all seating positions. However, an effort to standardize installing child seats was introduced with the LATCH system. LATCH is an acronym for “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children.”
LATCH specifies the anchoring system for baby safety seats, defining standard attachment points to be manufactured into cars that enable compliant child’s safety seats to be quickly and safely secured. Seats are secured with a single attachment at the top (top tether) and two attachments at the base of each side of the seat. The full set of anchor points for this system was required in new cars in the United States starting in September 2002.
Some vehicle design factors that affect baby safety seat placement include two-door vehicles, small back seats, deep bucket seats, slope and contour of the back seat, splits in bench seats, forward-anchored belts, and pickup truck jump seats/extended cabs. You should be aware that side-facing jump seats are unsafe for a child safety seat under all circumstances!
To ensure your vehicle’ seat is compatible with your vehicle, test the fit of the baby safety seat in your vehicle. If the seat proves incompatible with your vehicle, get one that is. Do not improvise!
Seat installation instructions may be found in the kid safety seat manual and perhaps in your vehicle owners manual. Once the seat is installed test the fit by firmly pulling at the base of the child seat, at the seat belt path, from side to side and forward. A seat installed properly should not move more than an inch in any direction. Visit a local baby safety seat inspection station and have a technician check the seat. A location near you can be found by going to www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting.
Installing and properly using a child safety or booster seat will better protect your child in the event of a crash. NHTSA developed a ratings system that allows you to evaluate the ease of use of certain baby vehicle’s features before you buy a seat. The seat you are considering will be rated on scale of one to five with five being excellent. Five is the highest rating. Please remember that these ratings are not safety ratings. All child restraints must to meet Federal safety standards. They are ratings based on ease-of-use factors which include evaluation of instructions, vehicle installation features, evaluation of labels, and securing the child
You can find more information by visiting www.nhtsa.gov and clicking on Child Safety Seat Usage Ratings. Go to www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CPS/CSSRating/Index.cfm to find updated ease-of-use ratings for both child’s safety seats and booster seats.
Don’t take a chance. Have your child’s safety seat inspected!