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5 Easy Ways To Find The Safest Car Seat For Your Kids

By Maria Cook

A car seat is one of the most important purchases a parent will ever make. When it comes time to choose which model to buy, any parent will tell you that safety is everything. But there is more safety to consider than just crash safety. In recent years, some materials in car seats (mostly the flame-retardants that are necessary to make the seats fire-proof in the event of a violent crash) have been found to have high levels of toxicity. This is bad news for kids and the environment. Car seats also contain a lot of plastic (non-biodegradable!) components and many brands use a lot of unnecessary packaging. 

But there are ways to manage all these factors and choose a car seat that is right for you and your kids. Here are five easy ways to find an eco-friendly car seat! 

1. Check out the car seat you already own.

If your kids are a few years apart in age, it's possible you might have a hand-me-down car seat situation. Or maybe you just want to ensure that your child's current car seat is safe enough to continue using. After all, reusing is always better for the environment than buying new. But how can you be sure of your current car seat's toxicity levels? 

Never fear, there's a guide for that! In June 2015, the Ecology Center at HealthyStuff.org released a list of brands with the highest and lowest toxicity ratings. Check to see if your current car seat is on it! If not, it's likely somewhere in the middle, with levels that aren't extremely high, nor extremely low. Only you can decide what levels you're comfortable with.