If you've ever gone shopping for a child or infant car seat, you know the price can range anywhere from $50 to $400. But all car seats have to meet the same minimum federal standards – so what is that extra money buying you, exactly?
Recently, Kristine Zewe from PEMCO sat down with Q13 Weekend Morning News to help explain.
While it's true all car seats must meet minimum standards, some go well beyond them and fare better in a crash. To start, look for a seat that:
- fits your child,
- fits your vehicle,
- is easy to use every time,
- is age-appropriate (rear-facing for kids under age two, front-facing for preschoolers, and booster seats for older kids) ,
- can be installed correctly (read more about the
LATCH system here).
Beyond that, seek features that improve crash-worthiness:
- big side wings at the top that keep your child's head upright in a crash,
- straps that don't twist,
- at least a five-point harness.
Our advice: Check ratings and buy the best car seat you can afford without straining the family budget. Just be sure the extra money you spend truly goes toward safety, rather than cosmetics or a designer label.