You could install your infant car seat either with with seat belts or the increasingly common LATCH. Most modern car seats will come with LATCH which is easier to install and remove from the car particularly when it comes to infant car seats which for the most part you do not have to uninstall except for the base.
While the kid is typically very little and weight about five pounds at birth, the little bundle of joy will grow pretty quickly.
As such you need to keep the in mind that you should buy an infant car seat that has high height and weight limits so that you can not only save money by using it for longer but also keep your child safer for longer.
Compatibility with the Car
Given that the car seat is purchased for use on smaller cars, you need to make sure that its dimensions fit in your Honda Fit, Coupe or Mini that tend to have very small back seats.
The user manual will typically have the dimensions of your back seat but the best place to find the dimensions of your given car seat is to find out from other parents that have used it. Check to ensure that the given car seat you are purchasing is a good fit for your car.
Ease of Use
The best infant car seats for you are the ones that are easy to use being easy to install and uninstall out of your car so that you can take your child out whenever you feel like it. This should be quite easy if you decide to go for an infant car seat with a base which can be easily clicked in an out of the car seat.
It should also come with strap that are easy to loosen, tighten, and which do not easily tangle just to enhance the safety of the child due to unsafe installations.
Regardless of whether you own a huge or small car, you are going to have to tug along your infant at some time or other and you will need to do it safely.
However, for parents with smaller cars, even greater care is required when selecting the best infant car seats for small cars. If you do not take care of this you may find yourself with a car seat that will not fit in your vehicle or if you force it, you will find that the child is not as safe as they should be.
But finding that right car seat is not that easy. Hence we have put together this small guide on how to find just the car seat you need for your tiny car.
You will also get to read some reviews of the best car seats in the market so that you can rest easy knowing you got the most appropriate and safe seat for your vehicle.
Lets get to it.
Rear Facing Is Best
Since we are talking about the best infant car seats for small cars, you would certainly know that these need to be rear facing car seats which keep the child safe from injury in the instance of a crash.
According to research by Consumer reports and organizations such as the AAP, an infant in a rear facing car seat is up to 500% safer than one riding in a forward facing car seat.
While it can feel really awesome turning the kid from rear to forward facing, it is always safer to follow the latest AAP recommendations and keep the infant or toddler in their seat for as long as possible.
Even if the child seems to be too big for the seat, you need to keep them in the infant seat or convertible until they exceed the height and weight limits which you can find on the user manual that typically comes with the safety seat.
Moreover even if the child might seem not comfortable, believe me, these seats have undergone rigorous testing and the child is as comfortable as they could be as long as you adhere to the instructions for installation and use on your user manual.
According to an Oregon bill currently in the State parliament, infants and toddlers would now have to be in a rear facing car seat until they are at least two years old.
According to Rep Sheri Malstrom this is informed by the fact that children younger than two are up to 5 times more vulnerable to serious injury in forward facing. Opponents to the bill pointed out that toddlers may become troublesome due to the boredom and anxiety at not seeing their parents in the front seat of the car.
However, doctor Hoffman a car seat safety practitioner the only one in the country certified as a certified passenger safety technician says it is totally worth it to buy car seat even if the child may not like it due to the enhanced safety on offer. Having helped over 10,000 families correctly install car seats Hoffman clearly knows what she is talking about.
According to Hoffman what makes children so vulnerable in car crashes is that their features have not yet sufficiently developed. They tend to have weaker skeletons, weaker necks and heavier and large head than adults. Such children are thus more susceptible to whiplash and internal decapitation injuries.
The risk of injury through these mechanisms can be reduced greatly through the use of rear facing car seats. A child in a rear facing car seat will not have whiplash injuries during a crash as their head and torso will be pushed onto the car seat thus minimizing the risks of injury. Moreover since their body will be pressed onto the larger surface area of the car seat, they will be safer that a child in the forward facing car seat that may be injured by straps cutting into their body and their head being thrown forward.
However, despite the many positives, the bill could present some difficulties for some child care organizations in Oregon that typically assign children onto bus seats according to their ages. Given that some children are too tall or too fat for rear facing, it would be difficult assigning them to a rear facing car seat. while a smaller child would be safest in the rear facing car seat.
The bill makes it an offence to have toddlers younger than two ride in a rear facing car seat that attracts a fine of between $110 and $250. Nonetheless while some people might argue that they would rather pay the fine rather than have a troublesome child in a rear facing car seat, that argument does not hold water in terms of safety. Some of the best infant car seats for small and medium size cars go for between $100 and $300 and hence it would be better to just buy the seat and have the kid travel safely. Moreover, with more states such as New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and California enacting similar legislation, it looks like the case for rear facing is growing.
Before it was passed the legislators amended the bill to allow children older than 1 at the time of passage to ride in rear facing without attracting a fine. Rep Cedric Hayden of R-Fall Creek jokingly asserted that it was the first time an infant was grandfathered into a bill.
The police and sheriff departments pledged to enforce the laws from an educational approach in the early days by issuing warnings for a period before shifting to the use of specified fines for parents caught offending the new laws.
Oregon child restraint laws
Children need to travel in child safety seats, even if they are 100 dollar car seats, until they exceed the upper weight and height limits of their seats or until they weigh at least 40 pounds.
Infants have to ride in the rear facing mode until they are at least 20 pounds or a year old.
Children that have exceeded the weight limits for their forward facing car seats or that weigh more than 40 pounds need to be shifted to harnessed boosters until they are aged eight or until they can ride safely with adult seat belts.
How Child Safety Seats Protect Children
They protect the spinal chord, the neck and head which are the most vulnerable parts of the infant or toddler from serious injury.
Places the pressure on the strongest parts of the baby’s body.
Increase the deceleration time for the child thus ensuring that less force is dissipated thus reducing the child’s vulnerability to injury.
Spread the forces of a crash on a wide surface area thus reducing vulnerability to injury.
Make sure the child is not ejected from the car seat during a crash which reduces fatality rates by up to 4 times.