Choosing and Installing the Right Convertible Car Seat

The busy life of a working mom is hectic enough without the added stress of finding the right car seat. The seemingly endless amount of information about which seat to buy can overwhelm even the most knowledgeable parent. Read on for tips on how to buy and install the best convertible car seat for your baby.

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The Right Fit

A safe car seat is one that fits your vehicle, fits your child and is easy to use each and every time. Proper fit in a car seat can be tricky, especially with growing children. If your child is not comfortable in the seat then they will not want to sit in it; this not only leaves your child vulnerable to injury, but creates additional stress on the driver.

Parents may choose to start their newborns in a convertible seat from day one, as they typically have a higher capacity than infant car seats. BRITAX convertible car seats, can be used for babies starting at just 5 pounds and grow with a child until they reach 65 pounds, depending on the seat. Infant car seats have many advantages (such as stroller compatibility) so think about your family’s needs and lifestyle before selecting your baby’s first seat.

If you’re shopping for a convertible, keep in mind your child’s weight, standing height and their seated shoulder height. Children’s torso variance can cause them to outgrow a car seat before reaching the full weight and standing height capacity of the seat. BRITAX seats are now labeled with this shoulder height capacity so parents know when its time to transition out of a convertible and into a Harness-2-Booster.

Convertible car seats are used rear facing and then “convert” to forward facing, which allows for longer use. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years of age or, as BRITAX recommends, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat manufacturer.

When shopping for convertible seats, look for essential safety features. BRITAX’s convertible car seats are passionately engineered with innovative technologies and premium features that offer best-in-class safety you can see. Designed to compress in a crash, Bases with SafeCell Technology work with Integrated Steel Bars and Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether to minimize forward movement and reduce the risk of head injury.

Installation You Can Trust

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seven out of 10 children are not properly secured in their car seat. Choose a seat that you can easily and correctly install in your car every time – some seats visually and audibly confirm this for you. At BRITAX, we’re constantly developing products to make installation simpler with ease-of-use car seat features.

The use of Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) often confuses parents. A vehicle equipped with LATCH will have lower anchors – metal bars in the seat bight, where the upper and lower cushions meet – and a top-tether anchor for securing the seat to the car. Starting Feb. 27, 2014, NHTSA is expected to require all car seats to include a warning label to indicate maximum child weight for the use of vehicle lower anchors during installation. For example, all BRITAX seats can be used with LATCH until children weigh 40 pounds – use a seat belt to install the seat above that weight. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s always best to check the vehicle owner’s manual to determine weight limits in your car.

At the end of the day, safety should be the top priority for all parents when purchasing and installing a car seat. For more information, visit a local seat child seat inspection station or consult your local child passenger safety technician.

Article submitted by Sarah Tilton, Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Advocate for BRITAX.

About BRITAX Child Safety Inc.

BRITAX manufactures and markets a full line of premium car seats, strollers, baby carriers and accessories. Since its founding in Britain in 1939, the company has established itself as a trusted juvenile products brand, known for a commitment to thoughtful, innovative engineering of safe, top-quality and intuitively designed products. BRITAX USA is located in Fort Mill, SC and employs more than 200 people. For more information, visit http://www.BRITAXusa.com.

About Sarah Tilton

Sarah Tilton is the Child Passenger Safety Advocate for BRITAX Child Safety, Inc. As an active CPS Technician (2002 and Instructor (2004), Sarah is the spokesperson for BRITAX within the advocacy community participating in child passenger safety activities at a local, state and national level. Sarah serves on the new product development, technical writing and marketing teams at BRITAX.  In addition, she managed and developed the training curriculum for the BRITAX Consumer Services department and organized and implemented a permanent checking station at BRITAX during 12+ years with the company.  Sarah is currently active with the Safe Kids South Carolina, Safe Kids York County (SC), Safe Kids North Carolina, and Charlotte Mecklenburg (NC) coalitions. She is also a member of the NC Child Passenger Safety Training Committee and the National Child Passenger Safety Board representing the At Large population and the Vice-Chair of the Manufacturers Alliance for Child Passenger Safety.

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