Out of all things you can purchase for your child, a car seat is the most important investment. From the time your newborn leaves the hospital to the time they are ready for an adult seat belt, they will require a child safety restraint. However, there are many factors you have to consider when shopping for car seats. For instance, you have to consider safety ratings, the age of your infant, your budget, and lifestyle, among other aspects. Some of the best car seats include the Alpha Omega Elite car seat and the Britax Boulevard car seats.
Car seats are so essential since they prevent road-related injuries to babies. In fact, when properly installed, car seats reduce the risk of death by an increasable 71 percent. Note that after purchasing the car seat, you need to have it properly installed. When shopping for the car seat, you have to compare several of them. Comparing the Alpha Omega Elite car seat vs. Britax Boulevard car seat is a start. This article highlights the things you need to consider before purchasing car seats, as well as different types of car seats, in order to make a comparison of Alpha Omega Elite car seat vs. Britax Boulevard car seat.
There are several things to take into account when keeping your children safe. First, all car seats sold in the United States are required to meet or exceed Federal or ASTM standards. Second, the seats should have undergone the NCAP crash test, which is the industry benchmark for evaluating seat performance in the event of a severe accident. Third, you should consider third-party review sites, such as Consumer Reports, tahat offer unbiased safety and comfort reviews for seats.
Fourth, for all-in-one seats and convertibles that transition to boosters, you need to check the booster seat ratings at the Insurance Institute for Highways Safety.
Fifth, you should consider Parent Central at SaferCar.com that provides excellent reviews pertaining to all U.S. car seats. The site is also involved in rating each car seat on the basis of ease of use. This is an important consideration, as approximately 73 percent of car seats are used incorrectly.
You might have heard of front-facing and rear-facing car seats. However, based on the two, the rear-facing is the safest for your children. We recommend purchasing rear-facing sets that can support at least 40 pounds. However, even though your child hits the minimum required to front-face (one+ years and at least 20 lbs.), it doesn’t mean she should. Rear-facing is what saves lives.
As the child transitions from rear- to front-facing, he or she is likely to hit the minimum height and weight needed to transition to a booster prior to being ready developmentally and physically. We recommend that you choose a seat with a high front-facing weight limit (up to 70 lbs.) and only transition to a booster when your child outgrows his or her seat.
Check the Expiration Date
Some car seats have a five-year life, so they are likely to expire before your child outgrows them. If you are buying an extended-use or all-in-one car seat, we recommend that you choose one with an eight, 10 or 12-year lifespan.
Do Not Buy a Used Car Seat
While it is tempting to settle for a used car seat deal, you should know that wear, age and accidents can compromise the safety features. Unless you are very sure of the history of the seat, such as the fact that it has never been in an accident, it is nor worthwhile to risk the safety of your child for a discount.
All newborns start with a rear-facing seat until they are aged 2 or older. Weight ranges between 3 and 4 lbs., depending on the model.
Convertible Car Seats
The seats can be used rear-facing for infants and then converted to forward facing as the child grows. The rear-facing limit is 50 lbs. while the forward-facing limit is 65 lbs. They are designed to hold babies weighing 4 to 5 lbs., but they are still too big for a very small infant.
Once your child surpasses the front-facing size limit, he or she transitions to the booster seat. The seat lifts your child to use the car’s seatbelt system without a harness. The seats are popular as they are cheaper, lighter, and more portable.
Toddler Booster Seats
These seats are typically used from the time your child is ready for a forward-facing seat with a harness until they use a booster seat without a harness. They fit children between 20 and 90 lbs. in harness mode and 30 to 120 lbs. in booster mode.
All-in-One Car Seats
These seats are much like convertibles and are money-savers that can be utilized from birth through booster seat age. They hold babies from 4 to 50 lbs. rear facing, 20 to 65 lbs. forward-facing, and 30 to 120 lbs. as a booster seat. However, they are heavy and bulky, which makes them difficult to fit smaller vehicles.
Alpha Omega Elite Car Seat vs. Britax Boulevard
Based on the Alpha Omega Elite car seat vs. Britax Boulevard G4 car seat comparison, it seems that the most obvious choice would be the Britax Boulevard G4 simply because its name doesn’t appear on the IIHS’ not recommended list of car seats. It has a higher rating of 4.5 out of five stars compared to 3.6 out of five stars for the Alpha Omega Elite car seat. Even though it is more expensive, it is the price you have to pay for the increased safety of your child. Besides, the Britax Boulevard G4 has greater safety ratings and features and is easy to use, unlike the Alpha Omega Elite. We hope this article has adequately addressed the things you need to consider before purchasing car seats, the different types of car seats, and a comparison of the Alpha Omega Elite car seat vs. Britax Boulevard car seat.