If you ever plan to drive or ride in a car with your new baby, you absolutely must have a car seat. It’s the law and for good reason. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, car seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for infants and by 54% for children ages 1-4, and reduce the need for hospitalization by 69% for children ages 4 and under.

So it goes without saying that a car seat is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will get to protect in her first few months of life. But you don't have to sacrifice eco-savvy for safety....you can have both! Here's how to green your baby's ride:

Give it some air

Most conventional car seats are made with plastics and fabrics that have been bathed in chemicals throughout the manufacturing process. So if your car seat is new, it’s very important to make sure that it has an opportunity to air out for as long as possible before the baby is born.

Seek out pre-loved

Another way to avoid the offgassing of chemicals is to purchase or borrow a gently used car seat that has already had the opportunity to air out. But be careful here. A gently used car seat is a wonderful thing for the planet and the baby, but only if it comes from a trusted source. A used car seat that has been involved in a car accident may have suffered structural damage that weakened the integrity of the equipment. Only accept or purchase a used car seat from a close friend or family member who can assure you that the seat is accident-free.

Check for recalls

It’s also a good idea to check with the US Consumer Product Commission to make sure the car seat has not been recalled since it was first purchased.

A greener car seat
Don't sacrifice eco-savvy for safety when it comes to your baby's car seat.