Child Car Seat Buyer's Guide
There's loads for parents to think about when buying a child car seat. To help get you started, take a look at the Halfords child car seats buyer's guide.
Buying a child car seat is an important purchase that you'll be using for several years, so take the time to look through the different models available. Picking the right one goes a long way towards less stressful journeys - read on to find out more.
WHAT ARE CHILD CAR SEATS?
The term 'child car seat' is often used to describe all car seats for children. However, in this article we're going to focus mainly on Group 1 car seats, which are designed for children that are no longer tiny babies, but are also too small to use a booster seat.
Group 1 car seats are usually forward-facing seats, which are appropriate for kids aged around 9 months to 4 years (or between 9kg to 18kg in weight). They can be used in both the front and rear of the car. However, don't use it in the front if you have an airbag, as this could endanger the child if it is activated.
Your child is secured into the seat using a safety harness, and the seat itself is installed into the car using the seatbelt or the car's ISOFIX system. The seat will help to protect your little one from serious injury or death in the event of a crash - that's why it's the law to use one.
Once your kid reaches 18kg in weight, it's time to move them on to a booster seat - take a look at our booster seats buyer's guide for more guidance on this.
WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A CHILD CAR SEAT
Your first consideration should always be safety. It's vital to choose a seat that's appropriate for the size and weight of your child, and that will fit properly into your car.
The product descriptions and manufacturer's guidelines should tell you the information that you need to know, but if you need some extra help, call into your local Halfords. The staff there will be able to offer you expert guidance on choosing and fitting a child car seat.
If your child will be travelling in more than one car - such as your partner's or the grandparents' - then you must ensure that the seat is compatible with each car.
FEATURES TO LOOK OUT FOR ON CHILDRENS CAR SEATS
Once you're sure that a seat is suitable for your car and child, look out for some of these factors:
- Convenience - how easy is it to place in and out of the car?
- Ease of use - is it simple to put your child in and secure the harness?
- Reclining mechanism and padding - helps your child to sleep
- Side impact protection - added safety in a crash
- Adjustable headrest/harness - can grow with your kid
- Removable covers - easier to wash
For added security, choose an ISOFIX seat, which offers a rigid connection between the car and the seat, and lowers the chance of incorrect fitting.
Check first whether your car has ISOFIX points installed - this is usually in the car's handbook, or you can look for the ISOFIX tags on the rear seats. See our guide to ISOFIX for more information.
CHILD CAR SEATS ONLINE AT HALFORDS
Halfords has a wide variety of Group 1 child seats on offer, including top brands like Maxi Cosi and Britax, and great value options such as Pampero. Our car seats are available to reserve and collect, or to buy online for home delivery.
We also have many combination seats (Groups 0+1 and Groups 1-2-3) available, which can adapt as your child grows through different stages. We offer a lowest price guarantee on car seats, so take a look at our range today.
What's more, we provide free fitting on all our childrens car seats in-store. Our professional fitters will install your seat and give you a free 16-point safety demo so you can do it yourself.
We're the only major retailer to have our fitting training accredited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, so you can be sure your child is in good hands with Halfords.