Convertible Car Seats Are Solution For Children’s Seats

Convertible Car Seats

Car safety is one of the most important aspects to consider out on the road. This is why the safety rating is such a big factor in whether or not a car will sell. There are many things you can do to ensure that your driving experience is as safe as possible when it comes to you and your passengers.

While driving isn’t necessarily a dangerous experience, it can quickly become one if things go wrong. Being a confident driver is one thing, but sometimes matters spiral out of control due to no fault of your own. You may trust yourself, but do you trust everyone else with whom you share the road?

It is rather naive to think that every other driver has the same level of competence as you, so it helps to take every precaution possible when driving. One of the more important aspects to consider in the realm of automobile safety is the well-being of your younger passengers.

Red convertible car seat.

Regardless of whether your child is a newborn, baby, or older, it is important to keep them safe in the event of a collision. Buying a children's car seat is both a smart choice for keeping your child safe and in the case of children below one year of age, it is the law.

There are many child seats to choose from depending on the size of your child and their age. The price of child car seats can pile up over the years as you have to buy larger and larger seats. However, there is a solution to this in the form of the convertible car seat.

What Is A Convertible Car Seat

A convertible car seat is a car seat which is designed to accommodate your children as they grow. This allows you to save money that would otherwise be spent on several car seats over the course of your kid’s childhood.

Convertible car seats are so named because they convert from a rear facing baby seat into a forward facing children's seat. Their maximum weight capacity can vary, but they are usually meant for children up to the age of 4 years old.

Car seat installation.

Besides being able to switch from rear facing to forward facing, convertible car seats often feature inserts that will allow a baby to fit more comfortably. As your child gets old, this insert can be removed so they can sit more comfortably inside of the bigger seat.

Differences Between A Convertible Car Seat, Infant Car Seat, And 3-in-1 Car Seat

Several different types of car seat may appear similar at first, but there are some crucial differences to note.

First up is the infant car seat. This is the least versatile type of seat that you will find, but it is also the most specialized. These are rear facing car seats which are designed specifically for newborns and young babies. They are usually too small to fit toddlers, and they cannot be placed in a forward-facing position.

The next type of car seat that we will look at is the convertible car seat. As we stated earlier, these car seats are designed for both babies and younger children. These seats will allow you to choose between a rear-facing position for babies or a forward-facing position for children.

The last car seat type that we will be comparing here is the 3-in-1 car seat. According to some, this is another type of convertible car seat. Regardless, it is designed for a larger age range than the traditional convertible car seat. These seats can first be used as rear facing baby seats and then forward facing children's seats, followed by a booster seat for even older children.

Features Of A Convertible Car Seat

Before buying a cat seat you should know the features that it can provide.

Convertible Position

This feature is the main reason for purchasing a convertible car seat. Regardless of the seat that you purchase, you always have a choice between a forward facing seat and a rearward facing seat. Your choice will depend on the age of your child and their size.

Happy baby in car seat.

The option for a convertible position allows you to choose between a seat that is optimized for babies or younger children. This is an excellent way to save money by not having to purchase additional seats throughout the years. If your child is under one year old, it is necessary to have them sit in a rear facing seat for their safety.

Support Features

Support features are another aspect to search for when buying a convertible car seat. This may seem like a somewhat general term, so we will further define support features. This can be any group of characteristics that make it easier to anchor your child's seat in your car.

The best support features make it easy to secure your child's convertible car seat without having to put in a significant amount of work. It will typically be less convenient to install a convertible car seat if you have to use extra tools or other implements to make sure that it is properly secured.

Many kinds of anchor types can support your child's convertible car seat, so you will want to carefully consider the type that will work best for your child and your automobile.

Safety Features

One of the most important aspects of a child car seat is to ensure that your child will be as safe as possible. This is the main reason for purchasing a child car seat, so it makes sense that this is a crucial part of the design process There is a vast variety of safety features to account for when purchasing your child's car seat.

Safety features of the car seats.

We will be going over some of the more standard safety features that you will find on convertible car seats. Due to the large variety of manufacturers, these features may have proprietary names, but they will be the same, in essence, as long as they share the same basic characteristics.

LATCH System

The LATCH system is an acronym which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. It is a system which exists to make sure that child seats are not installed incorrectly. Due to confusion in installing proprietary attachment points for different manufacturers, the LATCH system was developed to provide a universal system for the attachment of child seats.

The LATCH system increases the safety of car seats throughout the whole market due to the universal manner in which these seats are installed. This makes it far harder to accidentally install a seat in the wrong way, making it much safer for children in the event of an accident.

An improperly attached seat can, in fact, be more dangerous than no seat at all, so it is incredibly important to ensure that the proper steps are taken. The LATCH system can be attached in several ways to make sure that it works with a larger variety of vehicles than most other systems.

5-Point Harness

Most car seats on the market today contain this feature. A 5-point harness is an important way to ensure that your child is reliably and properly strapped into their seat. A 5-point harness consists of either two long belts or four shorter belts with a clasp on your child’s chest and between their legs.

Five attachment points for the belts.

The reason that a 5-point harness is so named is due to the five attachment points for the belts. Two of the belts go into the top of the middle clasp, two go into the bottom of the middle clasp, and those same two belts from the bottom go into the buckle point between your child's legs. This gives you five points of attachment.

The reason for the immense popularity of the 5-point harness over other forms of belt systems is due to the reliability and strength of a 5-point harness. This is because it keeps the restraining forces evenly distributed over your child’s body. This means that it is both safer and more effective than more traditional belt types.

In the event of an accident, this even distribution of restraining forces makes it far less likely that the occupant of the seat will be injured. When combined with the relatively small increase in cost for a 5-point harness when compared to other belts, the inclusion of one of these harnesses becomes a no-brainer.

Side Impact Protection

Side impact protection is exactly what it sounds like in the case of convertible car seats. It is the degree to which a child will be protected by the seat in the unfortunate event of an accident. There are many ways to ensure that the occupant of the seat is protected in the case of a crash and we will go over some of these methods.

The most common form of side impact protection in convertible children's seats is the inclusion of padding along the sides of the seat. There are other types of side impact protection which consist of inflated bladders along the sides of the seat, which provide even more protection than traditional padding.

Side Impact Protection.

It is important to distinguish the difference between a seat which has been side impact tested and a seat which features actual side impact protection. Side impact testing is simply a way to get a measure of how well a seat will protect in the event of a side-on collision. A seat does not necessarily need to feature specific side impact protection to undergo this test.

NHTSA Ease Of Use Ratings

The ease of use for a car seat is one of the most important aspects to take into consideration before you make your decision on the model that you would prefer. Thankfully, the NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has a set of convertible car seat ratings to define just how easy it is to use your preferred type of seat.

The rating system works on a five-star scale, with five stars being the best and one star being the worst. The NHTSA evaluates four separate aspects of the seat and then averages them out to attain the overall ease of use rating of a seat.

The first aspect which is considered is the accuracy of labels on the seat. This can vary from safety warnings to washing instructions. While this may not seem like the most important aspect, you will find that safety labels are a crucial part of the rating of a seat.

The next area which is rated is the clarity of the instructions included with the seat. As you can imagine, the instruction manual on a children’s seat should be easy to read and should include diagrams as well as written instructions. This ensures that it will be easy to assemble the seat and that any needed precautions can be taken.

National Highway Safety Administration

Up next is the amount of security the seat provides for the occupant. This is one of the most crucial aspects to pay attention to when you are deciding on buying a seat. You will want to ensure that your seat can properly secure and restrain your child as this is the primary reason for the purchase of a child car seat.

The final aspect which is reviewed is the ease of installation and the number of included installation features. A seat which is easy to install is a far safer seat as it becomes harder to set up the seat in an improper manner accidentally. This could result in injuries in the event of an accident, so this aspect is indirectly related to occupant safety.

All of these characteristics are considered together, with some being weighed more heavily than others. Once the aspects have been tallied up, the NHTSA provides their overall rating for a particular seat model.

Comfort

Comfort is important to consider when you are buying a convertible car seat. You will, after all, want your child to be comfortable over the course of a car ride, especially if they are prone to crying. There are several features which can help when it comes to ensuring that the occupant of a convertible seat remains comfortable.

These comfort features can include pillows or padding positioned around the interior of the seat to make it more accommodating. Another comfort feature which is meant for children of smaller sizes is an insert, so they may better fit inside of the seat. There are also inserts made for babies so that they will be more comfortable inside a rear facing convertible seat.

Comfort features of the car seats.

Inserts can always be removed once your child outgrows them, so there are few downsides to seats which feature them. You will find that they greatly increase the versatility and comfort of your seat.

Easy Cleaning

It is also important to purchase a seat which can be easily cleaned. When dealing with children, it is always possible that there may be accidents due to motion sickness or the simple lack of bodily control that is common for younger children. There are many types of materials that may be easily cleaned.

You will want to avoid convertible car seats that are not washable, as this will significantly limit your options when it comes to cleaning the seat. For washable seats, you can often use wet wipes or even sponges with a little bit of detergent to get the stains off. For the hygiene of both your child and your car, you will want to opt for a model that is easy to clean.

Why You Need A Convertible Car Seat

A convertible car seat is the best choice you can make regarding a car seat for children. It allows you to save a good deal of money in addition to simply being a versatile product. The age range of a convertible car seat is far larger than that of more specialized car seats.

Another advantage of convertible car seats is that they often include more features than a typical seat. This can range from additional features regarding comfort, such as better positioned cushioning to more efficient strapping systems, allowing you to ensure that your child is better restrained.

Convertible car seat.

Manufacturers

There are many manufacturers to choose from when deciding on the best model of convertible car seat. We will give you a short rundown of the more popular manufacturers and let you know the areas in which they specialize. This should help clear up any confusion resulting from different companies.

Graco

Graco is a manufacturer of all sorts of baby products which was originally founded in 1942. This ensures that they are one of the longer lasting manufacturers of baby products.

When it comes to Graco convertible car seats, they tend to build the most resilient seat models. These are a good choice if you would like a durable baby seat in comparison to most other manufacturers. This is why their products tend to be better for more rowdy children.

Britax

Britax is another manufacturer of products which are specifically geared towards babies and toddlers. They were founded in 1938, so they are another manufacturer that has been around for quite some time. Britax convertible car seats are often of excellent quality.

Britax was the first company to develop the LATCH system, which was then implemented by many other manufacturers for commonality. As you can see by their creation of the LATCH system, Britax tends to focus on children’s seats that are easier to install than their competition.

Chicco

Chicco is a children's product brand from Italy that was founded in 1958. This is one of the more altruistic companies that manufacture children's products as they have their charity.

If you would like to invest in a good cause at the same time as you purchase your child's seat, you will find that this company is a perfect choice. However, their charity is not the only reason why you would prefer Chicco convertible car seats. They also tend to manufacture the most comfortable models of car seats.

Evenflo

Evenflo is an American company from Ohio that was first founded in 1920. They manufacture a large variety of products, but this in no way means that the quality of their convertible car seats is diminished. Evenflo convertible car seats tend to go above and beyond when it comes to safety features.

If you would like to purchase a car seat that features a vast variety of safety features at a greater expense than competing models, you will rarely find better seats than Evenflo convertible car seats.

How To Install Convertible Car Seats

When it comes to installing convertible car seats, most seat models will have a different method that will be explained in the instruction manual. This is usually the case unless a seat is equipped with the LATCH system, in which case all seats have common ways to be attached.

Installing car seat.

Most often, installation of convertible car seats requires the attachment of anchor points if your vehicle is not equipped with a LATCH system. In the case of cars with LATCH, you will have to attach the seat to the anchors which are situated on the bottom of the rear seats on your vehicle.

Safety Tips

There are a few ways to make sure that you have the safest convertible car seat, regardless of the model that you have purchased. For example, you will want to double check and test the attachment points in case they are loose before making use of the seat.

You will also want to make sure that the seat is correctly positioned for your child's age. Rearwards for babies and small toddlers and the forwards for children above this age range.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has cleared up the subject of convertible car seats for you. We would argue that they are the best form of children's seat for automobiles. If there are any questions related to the subject, do not hesitate to ask in the comments section below.

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