Knowledge is power, especially when you’re factoring in the safety of your children. Whether you’re on your way to becoming first-time parents or have been going through hand-me-downs for years, it’s never too late to refill your well of car-seat data. Here’s all you need to know about child safety seats before your little one graces your presence.
Types of Safety Seats
Child restraint systems (aka car seats) come in three primary molds.
- Infant seats are built to protect infants and children who weigh less than 20 pounds. They can be positioned to face forward or behind. The rear-facing position is designed to recline and assist infants by supporting their neck. In the forward-facing position, it acts as a transitional seat for older kids not yet ready to move into a standard or convertible car seat.
- Convertible seats are ideal for toddlers up to the age of 4 or 5. They are front-facing and typically built for children who weigh over 20 pounds, though manufacturer recommendations differ.
- Booster seats offer more convenience and give your child a bit of independence. They “boost” your child up and utilize your vehicle’s seat belts to secure them in place. If you have a smaller vehicle without rear head rests, a booster seat with a high back would be the appropriate choice. Otherwise, a backless booster seat is recommended.
Arizona Child Car Seat Laws
According to Arizona’s Department of Transportation, any child under 4’9” is to be fastened to an appropriate safety seat. Age and weight requirements can be broken down in the following manner:
- Infant to 1 Year (or under 20 pounds) – Rear-facing infant car seat or rear-facing convertible car seat.
- 1 to 5 Years (or 20 to 40 pounds) – Forward-facing convertible seat.
- 5 to 8 Years (or 40 to 80 pounds) – Booster seat.
Once your child is 8 years of age, weighs over 80 pounds, or is taller than 4’9”, they may be fastened by your vehicle’s seatbelt. It’ll be a happy day for them, but if you’re caught breaking these laws, it could result in a fine and points added to your driving record—or worse.
The Best Infant and Booster Car Seats of 2017
Any car seat sold on the shelves must be certified prior to sale, which means they must pass government safety regulations first. Therefore, spending more on a car seat doesn’t necessarily mean a higher standard of safety; instead, you’re paying for features, convenience, and style. Still, the choice of safety seat is yours, so be sure you’re looking at all the best options out there. Babylist.com has two great resources for current car seats: Their Best Infant Car Seats and Best Booster Seats lists.
Although our Valley Honda Dealers can’t recommend a specific car seat brand or model, we can give you a few points. Take these with you as you hunt for the perfect safety seat.
- Know how big your back seat is. If you have a 2017 Honda Fit, even with its superb 45.1 inches of rear hip room, a full-sized convertible car seat might not be the best option. However, if you’ve got a CR-V, its 49.5 inches of hip room in the back should accommodate a child seat with a wider base.
- Choose a car seat that you can run through a wash cycle. Kids are messy, after all.
- The best position for your child is typically in the center of the back seat. Studies show that children restrained in this position are over 40% safer than those who sit on either of the sides.
- Car seats with two-piece clips are safer, too. Kids can’t usually unfasten these clips, meaning you’ll spend less time peeking in the rearview mirror and more time watching the road.
Proper Car Seat Installation & Recalls
Just because you’ve got the highest-rated child car seat doesn’t mean you can avoid properly installing it. Yes, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare, but car seat installation is the glue that holds your family together. If the instruction manual isn’t cutting it, grab your smartphone and look at a few YouTube videos. If those aren’t helpful, you can find assistance at a nearby inspection location. Just run a search at safercar.gov.
If you’ve already purchased and installed your child’s car seat, make sure you’re staying in the loop on recalls. You can sign up for updates or browse current recalls at the NHTSA website.
Ensure Your Kids’ Safety & Buy a New Car in Phoenix
Child car seats are obviously necessary to keep your family protected, but so too is the type of vehicle you drive. If you live near Phoenix and own an old jalopy, you might want to stop into one of our Honda dealerships and invest in a modern vehicle that has more than just ABS and windshield wipers.
Browse through our dealerships’ current selection of new Honda models to see what you’re missing. From the all-new Odyssey to everyone’s favorite Accord, our Valley Honda Dealers offer it all. Don’t leave your family’s safety to chance. Find your nearest Honda dealership in Peoria, Phoenix, Mesa, or the Avondale area today.
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