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How do I Choose the Best Folding Car Seat?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2016
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To choose the best folding car seat for your child, be sure it meets safety specifications and guidelines. Choose a car seat that is recommended for the weight of your child, not solely for his age. When buying a folding car seat, always purchase one in new condition. Don't take chances by using a used car seat that could be damaged, thus compromising your child's safety.

If you're buying a car seat for a baby, be sure to choose one appropriate for an infant's weight. It should also be rear facing. This type of seat should be appropriate for infants that weigh under 20 pounds (9 kilograms). If your child is about to reach toddler age, he may do best with a convertible folding car seat. This type of folding car seat converts from a rear-facing to front-facing seat as the child matures and reaches more than 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

When choosing a folding car seat for a child who weighs 40 pounds (18 kilograms) or more, choose a booster type of car seat. You'll want to be sure to pick a folding car seat that has a back, unless your car offers head and neck support. Booster car seats will be used in conjunction with the automobile shoulder harness.

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Whether you choose a convertible folding car seat or rear- or front-facing model, you'll want to be certain the car seat has non-slip grips. Also look for a car seat that has a steel frame. Steel frames are more sturdy than other materials. Steel will also resist shock on impact.

Look for a car seat that is easy to install. You'll most likely prefer something portable and lightweight, although rugged and durable. Something compact that can be stored in a small closet when not used is a good idea.

Inquire if your new car seat has been put through mandated safety tests. This should offer peace of mind in knowing you're getting a high quality product. All of this information will be found on the packaging, so read it over carefully.

Personal comfort should also be taken into consideration. Look for comfortable padded foam and multi-height adjustments on the seat. The fabric should be easy to wipe clean as well.

Many folding car seats feature padded arm rests for added comfort. Some may rotate as well. Some car seats also have built in cup holders, making it convenient for long car trips. Regardless of the type of folding car seat you choose, be sure it comes with a manufacturer warranty.

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