Basic Buying Tip #1
Types of Car Seats
Select the car seat or booster seat that fits your child, fits your car and fits your budget. We will guide you through finding the right car seat and helping you use it correctly.
There are three types of car seats: rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seat.
Even though there are many different models to choose from, all car seats meet the same U.S. federal safety standards.
Basic Buying Tip #2
Car Seat Parts
Here are the basic parts of every car seat.
Some car seats also have extra features. Buy a car seat that already comes with the extra features you want. If you add those extra features (called aftermarket products) later, such as padding for the harness straps, they can make your child less safe.
Basic Buying Tip #3
Read the Label
Before you buy, read the labels on the car seat or booster seat. Look for the weight, height, and age limits to make sure the car seat is right for your child.
If you’re buying online, you can find this information in the product description. Look for a section called “specification” or “specs.”
Basic Buying Tip #4
Don’t Buy used car Seats
Never buy a used car seat from garage sales, flea markets, second-hand stores, or online when you don’t know the previous owner or the complete history of the car seat. Avoid borrowing one from someone you don’t know.
A used car seat is unsafe if it has been in a crash or if it is missing parts, labels, or instructions. A car seat is also unsafe if the manufacturer has issued a safety recall and the seat has not been fixed. There’s just no way to be sure that a used car seat is safe.
Basic Buying Tip #5
Register Your Seat
Complete and mail the registration card that comes with your car seat or booster seat.
If you register your car seat, the car seat manufacturer can notify you if there is a safety recall. Don’t worry, the information you provide on the registration card cannot be used for marketing or any other purpose except to notify you about a recall.
Share these tips with friends and family!
Want tips for the kids in your care?
Check out car seat safety tips for your child.
Looking for more information?
- Return home, find FAQs, or check the Glossary.
- Find a car seat installation event near you.
- Find your state law.