10. 16. 2006
Maxi-Cosi and Aprica Euro Turn Car Seats
If the prospect of universal healthcare, affordable education and gobs of vacation time arenít enough to make you wish you lived in Europe, perhaps their selection of baby products will. Case in point: car seats.
When I registered for car seats, it was totally a case of the lesser of many evils. I simply made the decision on, gasp, functionality alone. By why should I have to compromise, when our friends across the pond revel in options? Here are just 2 examples.
From the makers of the now famed, Quinny stroller, Maxi Cosi manufactures several attractive car seats, that take your child from 0 Ė 12 years of age. Now, I know these aren't new, but they just came out with some really cool African-inspired prints that are. Also the company assures me that their car seats will be available in the US "in a year or two," so keep an eye out. I like the mimimalist lines (especially on the Cabrio, which you can't really see here. More pictures on the website.) I am told they rate well in safety and usability - they're the #1 seller in Britain, and at £90, the price isn't too bad either.
And for the Mercedes Benz of car seats, enter the Aprica Euro Turn. This revolutionary car seat may be the best money can buy in car safety. Its unique design is based on the latest pediatric research recommending that infants lie flat at all times before 6 months in order to keep their abdomens free of restriction, thereby decreasing the risk of oxygen de-saturation which has been linked to underdevelopment of the brain. Ergo, the Euro Turn reclines fully. It also changes from rear to forward facing, making it viable from birth to 3 years (and optimizing your £600 investment!) It's not as sleek looking as the Maxi-Cosi's, but money-no-object, I definitely wish I had this extra secure contraption during my babyís first trip.
Now neither of these car seats are homologated for US sale yet, but they should work in US cars since they sell the same ones here as in Europe. (A complete compatibility list is available on each website.) A friend of mine bought her car seat in Israel for use in her US car. So maybe, if you happen to be going to Europe, you can pick one up. Or perhaps, you can find a European company willing to ship you one.
Why all car seats either made in, or imported to the US, are so totally ugly, Iíll never know. But clearly (as evidenced by the existence of babygadget and other sites), we want more. So look out Graco, American parents are catching on.