The ever-changing laws concerning the requirements for child car seat safety are a challenge for grandparents. Most of us do not transport our grandchildren all of the time, but only occasionally when they visit or when we take vacations with them. That means a transfer of car seats to our vehicles and back again. There are stringent laws concerning the ages and weights of children and the kind of car seats they must use and so we must inform ourselves in order to be law-abiding and to keep our grandchildren safe. You may choose to buy car seats for your own vehicles to have on hand when the grandchildren come calling.
There are three major types of car seats. The first one is purchased for the new infant. It seats the baby facing back in the car. Then comes the convertible car seat which is for toddlers up to 35 pounds. It also can be rear-facing. Generally we change from rear-facing to forward facing seats at twelve months or twenty pounds. It is considered safer to keep the child facing back as long as possible. Thirdly comes the booster seat in which the older child uses the car’s shoulder strap and head supports. Each state in the U.S. and area in the UK has its own requirements for ages and weights. None of these car seats are cheap, but quality is of the essence. If you should choose to purchase used car seats you will need to carefully screen for damage and/or any recalls of that model. For that information and much more on ages, weights and car seat safety information by area check out the following websites:
Once you have the car seats you need to ensure the safety of your grandchildren, you need to be sure that each time you install them you do so correctly. Common errors of installation concern threading the straps through the wrong slots in the seat, not locking the clips, failure to buckle properly and installing the entire unit too loosely. It is worthwhile to visit a local police station or other check site to have the car seats inspected for safety and for installation demonstrations. These inspections are free.
The safety of our grandchildren is always of utmost importance. The cost of the required seats is one of the major expenses for young families today and may be something grandparents choose to provide. Since laws and models of car seats keep being upgraded, you may want to bookmark or print out the above sites for future reference. Your children will also help you keep up to date with the current requirements. Yes, there is always something new to learn, but remember, we are carrying precious cargo!