Are Convertible Car Seats Safe?

A convertible car seat can be used for both infants and toddlers. This type of car seat can function as both a rear-facing infant seat and a forward-facing seat.

One of the most important purchases a parent is likely to make is the purchase of a car seat. State laws require infants and toddlers to be properly restrained in a car seat. Car safety seats were designed to minimize the risk of injury to babies and children, who are extremely susceptible to car accident injuries. All child car seats are designed for maximum protection in a collision. Car seats are required by law to be inspected for safety.

As a parent you will want to make sure you choose the safest option for your most precious cargo. There are many different types, brands, and models of car seats. Choosing the best seat for your child can be a very difficult task.

One type of car seat is a convertible car seat. A convertible car seat can be used for both infants and toddlers. This type of car seat can function as both a rear-facing infant seat and a forward-facing seat. Convertible seats often have a five-point harness, overhead shield, or "T" shield to secure the child. The harness and straps are adjustable, meaning with just minor adjustments, your child can continue to be safe and comfortable as he grows.



Convertible car seats may not fit newborn infants as well as some infant car seats. When using a convertible car seat for an infant it is important to make sure the infant can recline comfortably. Also be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions and adjust the straps properly. The best choice for safety and a secure fit when using a convertible car seat for a small infant is the 5-point harness. Do not use a shield. Shields are often positioned too high and too far away from the body to fit correctly. An infant's head could hit the shield in a car accident.

For children under 1 year old the convertible car seat is intended for use in the back seat facing the rear of the vehicle. When baby weighs at least 20 pounds and is at least 1 year old the car seat can be turned around to face forward. Although baby can sit facing forward after both the age and weight requirement is met, it is best to keep baby facing the rear as long as possible. Rear facing is the safest position for infants and toddlers in the unfortunate event of an accident. Research has shown that babies are at risk for head and neck injuries when they are facing forward during a car accident. Keep your baby facing the rear of your car for as long as she is comfortable in that position.

Numerous convertible car seats have 2 or more buckle positions to give you extra room for your growing child. Many overhead shields can be adjusted as well. Several convertible car seats are now available with higher rear-facing weight limits to accommodate larger babies.

A child is too tall for a convertible car seat when his shoulders are above the upper harness slots or the tops of his ears are higher than the very top of the seat.

When installed properly, following the manufacturer's instructions, convertible car seats are as safe as the other types of car seats available to consumers.

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