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Buying guide for convertible car seat

convertible car seatA convertible car seat is something that has the functions required to keep up with the requirements of a baby during the initial four years of his life roughly. These types of seats have shoulder bands and belts to hold your baby snugly and keep him safe on the road. It is basically fitted in the car either in forward facing or in the rear facing position depending on its placement. Buying a convertible seat is a great investment as this will be very useful in keeping your child safe in the early phases of his life.

These car seats can be classified into four sections. The rear facing baby seat for 0-12 month old babies, the convertible car seat for babies aging no more than 4 years, high back enhancer seat for kids within the age range of 4-6 years, and the enhancer seat is designed for kids of 6-11 years of age. Because of this large variety you should be careful before buying a convertible seat for your kid. Here mainly the convertible car seat will be discussed as this is the most inquired section.

So, what to look for in the best convertible car seat?

  • Ease of use – First check National Highway Transportation Safety’s five star rating systems. The more the star, the easier it is to use. This rating includes the simplicity and clarity of the instruction manuals provided with the convertible car seat.
  • Five point safety straps – Your convertible car seat should have straps for each shoulder, straps for each thigh and one strap in between your baby’s legs.
  • LATCH system – Since 2002 all car seats are manufactured with LATCH (lower anchors and tether for children) systems. This allows you to attach your convertible car seat directly with your vehicle without using the seat belts.
  • Ease of adjustment – You will need to adjust the straps of your convertible car seat as your kid grows older. So a good convertible car seat should have easier strap adjustment procedure, some of the newer designs even have a single belt to control all the straps.
  • Ease of cleaning – A good convertible car seat should be easy to dismantle and the cover should be made of washable material so that you can clean it thoroughly.
  • Comfort – This is one of the most important factors that define a convertible car seat as a good one. Your convertible car seat should be well padded and good head support to keep your kid sound and safe.
  • Protection from side impacts – A good convertible car seat should have specially designed high energy absorbing foam and other features to protect your baby’s head and chest in side impact accidents.
  • Cost factor – Convertible car seats are available in the market in the price range of $80 – $360 roughly. The best models are costly, but offer you higher weight limits, so you will be able to use it for longer course of time.

This is pretty much all you need to know before buying the right convertible seat for your child.