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Car Seat Safety

Car Seat Safety

When purchasing a car seat in Italy, there are many things to consider prior to buying and installing a car seat into your car.

- Italian law requires that all children, 4ft 11 inches or shorter, must ride in a booster seat in the back seat of the car.

- Children should be in a rear facing seat until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight and height allowed by the manufacturer of their child safety seat.

- The "Pinch Test" - the straps a five point harness should pass the pinch test - if you can pinch the straps when the child is in the seat, the harness straps are too loose.

- Italian car seats do not meet American standards in car seat crash testing. It is not recommended Americans buy car seats made in Italy, unless it has been crash tested by an American company.

- Car seats expire. Check the date on your car seat. If it is expired, cut the harnesses and throw it away.

- Do not use a car seat if you do not know the history of the seat. If a car seat has been in a crash, you need to replace it.

- No rear-facing car seats should be placed in a seat with an airbag. Car seats can be placed in a front seat with an airbag, but only if the airbag can be turned off.

- Call a certified car seat technician who can verify the installation of your car seat.

As a reminder:

Rear-facing only
1. Are used for infants up to 22 to 35 pounds, depending on the model.
Are small and have carrying handles (and sometimes come as part of a stroller system).

May come with a base that can be left in the car. The seat clicks into and out of the base so you don't have to install the seat each time you use it. Parents can buy more than one base for additional vehicles.

2. Convertible seats
Can be used rear-facing, then "converted" to forward-facing for older children. This means the seat can be used longer by your child. They are bulkier than infant seats, however, and do not come with carrying handles or separate bases.

May have higher rear-facing weight (up to 45 pounds) and height limits than rear-facing only seats, which make them ideal for bigger babies.

Usually have a 5-point harness that attaches at the shoulders, at the hips, and between the legs. Older convertible seats may have an overhead shield--a padded tray-like shield that swings down over the child.

3. 3-in-1 seats
Can be used rear-facing, forward-facing, or as a belt-positioning booster. This means the seat may be used longer by your child.
Are often bigger in size, so it is important to check that they fit in the vehicle while rear-facing.

Do not have the convenience of a carrying handle or a separate base; however, they may have higher rear-facing weight (up to 45 pounds) and height limits than rear-facing only seats, which make them ideal for bigger babies.

For more information, click here.