Some Of The Better Convertible Child Seat Options For Overwhelmed Parents

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Every little trip in the car has the potential for danger. A quick ride to pick up groceries can have dire consequences which is why the requirement for a car seat is the law in every state. We have to proactive in our protection of our young ones and use a quality safety seat that is capable of keeping them secure in various crash scenarios.

Convertible car seats are widely popular today as they let parents use one seat that can adapt to their child as they grow. You can use facing backwards for younger babies and when they get too big for that position you can simply turn the seat around to face forward and use it this way until they are big enough to either get a booster seat or use your car’s own seat belt.

With so many options it may seem like an impossible task to find the right car seat for your kid, your budget, or your vehicle size. Luckily, the technology, features, and convenience of today’s child safety seats has advanced to the point where finding the perfect seat for your family is easier than you think.

The most logical place to start is finding current reviews of the best car seats to learn which brands parents trust the most. Reviews from the experts at Consumer Reports or Great Plains Examiner should help shed some light for parents just beginning their quest for a new convertible child seat. Below are just some examples of top rated options that will provide the comfort and safety that your little one deserves.

Top Parent Rated Convertible Car Seats

There are a number of brand names that have an excellent reputation of making both comfortable and safe car seats that your children will enjoy riding in. Some of these include Graco, Chicco, Britax, and Evenflo. These are just a few of the names to keep an eye out for why you are researching. The key when shopping is to buy a new seat from a reputable store or dealer. This will ensure that you are getting a certified and tested model.

Graco Safety Seats

Graco has a terrific line of products geared for children and their car seats or some of the highest rated budget options available for parents. Paying less does not always mean that you have to sacrifice on safety performance as Graco demonstrates. Their Nautilus and My Ride models are great choices but their Size4Me line of seats really shines with parents. With side impact protection, easy to use harness system, and InRight LATCH system are features that parents really love.

Not only are these seats safe, but they are also well received by kids who enjoy going for a ride in them. Its lightweight design also makes it a perfect option for using in multiple family cars. You will not have to strain to move it back and forth between different vehicles. The Size4Me is a little pricier than their other models, but this Graco convertible seat is worth it for a number of families. They also have a great car seat installation video section to help you make sure that you are using their seats properly.

Britax Convertible Car Seats

This is another company that is renowned for the quality of their safety seats. They produce exceptional convertible, infant, and booster car seats that meet or exceed all safety standards. While their line of convertible car seats may cost a little more, their quality is second to none. The Marathon, Boulevard, Advocate, and Roundabout are all fantastic options for parents looking for one of the top convertible car seats on the market.

All their seats or designed for safety first, but they are also made to extremely comfortable for your little one. They come in different eye catching designs as well. The higher end models do come with some extra safety engineering, but all of them would be a wise investment as they all come with Britax’s SafeCell technology that provides superior protection for kids from all types of crash forces and flying debris.

EvenFlo Budget Car Seats

If money is a primary concern then getting one of the EvenFlo models is a great alternative. These are more affordable than both Graco and Britax, but the do not skimp on safety. Their convertible car seats meet or pass safety regulations, but where they may not measure up to other brands is in comfort. Still, for parents on a tight budget, one of these convertible car seats will provide protection for you child while driving and hopefully ease some of your worry.

Chicco Seats

While Chicco is primarily known for making one of the best infant car seats, they also make highly rated convertible safety seats that are worth considering. Similar to Britax in both price and performance, Chicco models have gotten excellent reviews from owners. Supreme protection, high grade materials for comfort, and ease of use are aspects that parents appreciate about these seats.

If you can afford to get one of these then you will not be disappointed. They are also quite durable which is important for convertible car seats since they are designed to be use for a few years.

Quick Tips and Buying Guide

– The best advice when purchasing a new car seat is to pick a name brand that has years of experience and testing.

– Buy from stores that you can trust. Reputable stores get their products from trustworthy sources.

– Read reviews and get advice from parents that have experience with different model seats.

– Never buy a car seat second hand. Used seats may be defected, may have been in a crash, or they may be past their expiration date.

– Learn how to use the seat properly. Most manufactures have extensive manuals or online videos to help you install the seat securely which is vital to proper operation.

Child restraint seats save lives and convertible car seats are an investment in your child’s safety and future. No matter which seat you end up getting, making sure that you are using it properly, making sure it is secured, the harness is in the right position, and the seat is facing the correct way are all areas which need your attention. Do all of this will help give your angel the best chance to escape serious injury in the event of a crash. Accidents happen, but being proactive can go a long way to help mitigate unforeseen collisions.

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Cutting Through The Confusion – Types Of Car Seats

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Getting into an accident with your child in the back seat and having to take a trip to the emergency room is one of every parent’s worst nightmares. If you are a expecting a new addition to your family and are getting prepared to go out and purchase your first child seat then it is important to understand the basics. Car seats save lives, but using the right seat for your child’s height and weight and using it properly is one of the most vital decisions that you are going to make at this point. First, let’s look at what kind of safety seats are available.

Booster Seats

We decided to start with this one first because too many parents are not aware of just how crucial using one of these seats is to the health of your child. This is often the last seat you will buy before your little one is tall enough to use a regular seat belt. However, some folks skip this step and transition straight from a convertible seat to a seat belt. This can be dangerous if your child is not the right size as the straps of the belt may not sit in the right position. In the event of a collision this can cause serious injury. So while you may be searching for a child seat for a newborn now, it is a good idea to keep in the back of your mind the importance of getting a booster seat when the time comes.

Seats For Infants

Newborns are delicate and fragile creatures. Their necks are not fully strong enough to support the weight of their heads. Infant seats are designed to offer full support to this area to prevent injury even with minor crashes. Some parents like to have a dedicated infant seat for a couple of reasons. First, they are lighter weight than a convertible seat. They can be moved easily between different cars and they come with carry handles for added convenience. Secondly, a larger number of infant seats are compatible with a variety of different strollers. The seat can simply connect and lock into the stroller and your child will not have to be removed from the seat for this to occur. If you plan on using a stroller often this may be a great way to save some strain on your back as well as save you some time.

The downside to getting an infant car seat is that they are made for small children. That means that your child will quickly outgrow the seat (usually between 1 and 2 years) and you will have to purchase a new convertible seat. If money is tight then you may be better off just getting a convertible child seat from the start as these can also accommodate infants as small as 5 lbs.

For smaller kids it is always advised that you place the seat facing the rear for the proper protection. Not only will this help shield them from flying debris and glass, but it is also important from the standpoint of reducing neck strain should something awful happen out on the road.

Convertible Safety Seats

These are probably the most popular kind of child seat being used today. They have a much longer lifespan so you are not going to have to buy multiple seats every few years. Some convertible seats are also capable of being used as a booster seat and can provide protection for your child all the way up until they are large enough to safely use your vehicle’s seat belt. Economically speaking, this makes the most sense especially considering just how expensive it can be to raise children.

These seats get their name because they can be switched around and adjusted depending on the height and weight of its passenger. For infants special inserts or typically used to provide the needed head and neck support. The seat is also fasten in a rear facing direction. As your kid grows and becomes too big for rear-facing mode, the seat can be turned to face forward. Different strap positions in the base make sure the seat is securely fastened each.

They also come with a safety harness with straps that can also be easily adjusted to fit your child properly. Their popularity also offers parents a wider selection no matter their budget as today’s convertible car seat reviews reveal. It is also good to remember that even inexpensive child seats can provide more than adequate protection as all seats must meet minimum safety standards. Just because you may not be able to afford a high end convertible car seat does not mean you have to worry that you are compromising your child’s well being.

One of the drawbacks of using this type of seat is going to be its weight. These are bigger and heavier than infant seats so moving them from car to car is going to present more of a challenge. They also are not compatible with any type of stroller. They are typically going to be a little more expensive than a dedicated seat for newborns as well. Keep in mind however, that since you can use a convertible seat for longer and only have to buy one of them, it is going to save you money over time.

Read The Manual

Once you have your seat and are ready to install it is extremely vital that you install it correctly. Make sure to read the manual front to back. Most manufacturers also have instructional videos online that you can follow to ensure that you know what you are doing. There are also local technicians that may be in your area to inspect how your seat is installed. Some local fire stations may also help inspect your seat for you. If the seat is not secured properly and the straps of the harness do not lay in the correct positions while your child is in the seat then this may pose its own risk that can cause harm in case of an accident.

With a little research, practice, and even a second opinion, you should be able to ride down the road with the peace of mind of knowing that your children are as protected as they can be in the back seat.

Avoiding Common Car Seat Shopping Pitfalls

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Buying a car seat for your child for the first time is something that can cause parents many sleepless nights. After all, this piece of equipment is going to be responsible for keeping you precious little angels safe while battling the obstacles of the road. With a little due diligence, it should be a piece of cake to find something that you will be comfortable letting your child ride in no matter how small of a budget that you may have. Here are a few tips to make the process easier and should help you avoid some of the more common mistakes that some parents make.

Selecting The Right Type Of Seat

There are many choice available when it comes to getting a safety seat for your family. Knowing the difference between, infant, convertible, and booster seats is imperative at the start of the process. Infant seats, for instance have a narrow weight limit recommendation and children quickly outgrow them. If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, then purchasing a convertible seat is going to make a lot more fiscal sense since you can use this type of seat for longer. You will only have to buy one seat instead of a couple of different ones in the first few years.

Proper Fitting and Installation

No matter how well the car seat you end up getting is made it will not protect your child to its maximum potential if it is not properly used. In fact, it may even pose its own dangers that can harm your child. Installing and make sure the straps on the harness are in the correct positions and fit properly is crucial. Most manufactures have detailed owner’s manuals and have videos on their websites that will help you make sure that you are securely fastening the seat in your vehicle and what the right strap positions are. There are even certified technicians that you may find locally that can give you a run down and show you first hand how to install your seat.

Not Using A Booster Seat

Adult seat belt cannot be used for children because it will cross the body of the children at the wrong places like high up across the shoulder or high up on the belly or across the neck. When children become uncomfortable, they move the shoulder belt behind them and during a crash; incorrect seat belts can sustain serious spinal injuries and internal-organ damage.

Children weighing between 40 and 80 pounds and having height around 4’9″ should ride in a booster seat because it lifts the child up to make the seat belt fit properly.

Buying Used

This is something that all parents should resist. Sure you may save a few dollars but you don’t know where that seat has been or if it has been in a previous accident. If a seat has been in a crash, even if it looks visibly unscathed, it still could have been structurally damaged and can compromised the safety of its passenger. This is why after a collision, child seats should be replaced. This is the danger you risk when you go after something that is used. You should always buy a brand new seat from a store that you can trust in order to avoid this scenario.

Nobody likes to risk the safety of their children because they are the most valuable gifts. When you are dealing with the safety of your children, you should be extremely vigilant and careful and, adequate precautions should be taken while installing and maintaining car seats for your child. With a little research, using a child seat that you have confidence every day will become second nature.