How To Find Out The Safety Rating Of Your Child Car Safety Seat

How to find out the safety rating for a child safety seat.

That first ride home from the hospital can be a nervous one, especially if you aren't sure about your child's car seat. Many parents wonder if their child is secure enough in the event of an accident or other emergency. Those fears are perfectly natural but there are ways to alleviate the stress. Now parents can find out how their child's car seat stacks up when compared with other brands and models.

One of the first steps in finding out the safety rating of your child's car is visiting the various websites dedicated to providing parents with car safety seat information. My personal favorite site is, which is the site run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This site provides no nonsense ratings of a wide selection of car seats.

Each car seat receives a letter grade for its Assembly, Evaluation of Labels, Evaluation of Instructions, Installing Features, and Securing the Child. The assembly grade is based upon the car seat is ready for use upon purchase or requires assembly by the consumer. Evaluation of Labels refers to the labels being able to show how the car seat is used (i.e. diagrams on how the car seat should be placed). Evaluation of Instructions is a grade on how well the car seat instructions show how to use the car seat properly. The Installing Features rates if the car seat is easy to install and lastly, Securing the Child, rates how well the child safety seat secures the child.

All parts of the grading process are meant to give the parent a good idea of how well they will be able to use the car seat and how safe their child will be. Often the safest child safety seat can be rendered useless by incorrect installation. All parts of NHTSA's evaluation insure that the grading process give the consumer an accurate picture of the effectiveness of their car seat.

If you are one who doesn't want to make your decision based solely on government evaluation another way to find out the safety of your car seat is to find out the opinions and experiences of consumers. When purchasing my daughters car seat I read the reviews and opinions of consumers at the Amazon and Target websites. While they are not experts on the subject they can give you an idea of how hard the car seat was to assemble and how comfortable the child was in it. Some consumers actually share their accident experiences. These consumer opinions are usually unbiased and will let you know the views and opinions of an actual consumer who has relied on the car seat for the safety of their child.

Going to all these lengths might seem a bit extreme but remember, it is your child's life in question. Choosing a safety seat based on price or appearance is not enough, make sure you know the facts before you purchase one. If you are having a hard time affording the safety seat that you want contact your state government. Many have programs that will provide you a free, highly rated car seat, in exchange for taking a child safety course.

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