Amazon is having a rare sale on Britax car seats, which are touted as being among the best/safest car seats available. I have one and LOVE it. Yes they are a little bigger and heavier than most, but they have performed better than other car seats in crash tests.
The sale is for one week only, so don’t delay! It looks like all Britax seats will also receive free shipping! When I purchased my Britax, all prices were very similar, so free shipping was important to me. But now there is a sale AND free shipping! Can’t beat that!
Britax offers a wide variety of car seats — convertibles, boosters — and in different models with different features. I have the Boulevard, which offers true side impact protection. I have a Civic, so that was an important feature to me. It also had a knob on the side allowing you to adjust the straps to where YOU want them all without having to remove the straps or the seat.
Another thing to watch for is weight limits. The Boulevard is rear-facing up to 35 lbs and forward facing up to 65 pounds. The Roundabout is rear-facing also to 35 lbs, but only forward facing to 40 lbs.
The most important thing about car seats it to make sure they are properly installed!! I NEVER install my own seats. There is a technician at one of the fire stations here who is recommended by Children’s Hospital. He is certified and does hundreds of installations every year. The fact is, death from improper use or installation of car seats is the leading cause of death in infants and children. It’s so not worth it — get it professionally installed fire stations will do this for free, so cost is not an excuse, just takes a few minutes. Your child is worth it!
Other tips for safe car seats and usage:
1. Make sure the seat fits your car and fits your child
2. Keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This has nothing to do with age or how long your child’s legs are. Rear-facing is the safest position up to the weight limit of the seat or until his head reaches the top of the seat.
3. Use the seat every time! NEVER go anywhere without your child properly restrained in an approved car seat.
4. Watch for recalls, especially important if you are using a second-hand seat.
5. Lifetime of a seat is about 6 years because the plastic starts to breakdown. Again, especially important if you are using a second hand seat.
6. Use a 5 point harrness, LATCH system and tethers.
7. Inspect the seat regularly to ensure it is still secured properly (ideally you would do this each time before putting the child in the seat)
8. Make sure the straps are tight and secure each time you buckle up your child
9. Children up to 80 pounds, 4’9″ and 8-10 years old need to be in some restraint system