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What to Look For in a Baby Safety Car Seat

A baby safety car seat is an essential part of your child's car safety system. These seats are specifically designed to keep children safe during a collision. The features of these seats vary, but most are designed with the same basic purpose: to protect children. Some are rear-facing, while others have high-back boosters and adjustable bases. Regardless of your child's age, there is a baby safety car seat suitable for your vehicle.

Rear-facing car seats

Rear-facing baby safety car seats protect the neck and back of a child by distributing the force of an impact along the child's body. A young child's head is heavier than his or her body and will pull forward with greater force than a child seated in a front-facing car seat. This design also prevents whiplash injuries from occurring.

Rear-facing baby safety car seats reduce the risk of serious and fatal injuries during a car accident. Children riding in a front-facing seat are at a higher risk of whiplash injuries and other serious injuries, according to Purva Grover, director of the Cleveland Clinic Children's Pediatric Emergency Department.

High-back boosters

High-back boosters for baby safety car seats can be a good choice for a variety of situations. Some have removable backs, and some convert into backless seats. These boosters are also usually equipped with belt positioners. It's important to be sure your child's headrest is at the proper height, and that the seat belt is securely fastened.

The main benefit of high-back boosters is that they provide extra head protection from the side of the seat. The high back also provides a convenient place for a sleeping child to rest his or her head. In addition, high-back boosters also have side bolsters, which help contain the child's head and neck during a crash. They also have foam to absorb impact energy. One study found that children in high-back boosters were 70 percent less likely to be injured in a side-impact crash than those in seat belts alone. Moreover, backless boosters did not increase the risk of injury.

Harness chest clip

The chest clip is an important part of a baby safety car seat harness. It is designed to distribute the crash force over the whole seat, so that no one part of the car seat is directly hit. The chest clip is also a pre-crash tensioner, helping to position the harness straps properly around your child's shoulders.

The harness chest clip should be placed in the center of your child's chest, ideally at the level of his or her armpit. This will help to prevent the straps from slipping off your child's shoulders. Many parents move the clip when putting their child in and out of the seat, and this can cause problems.

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