Car Seats—Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I really need to buckle my child in when we are going somewhere close by, like to the grocery store?
a. Yes! Kids need to buckle up on every trip, every time. Most crashes happen close to your home. Even when you are driving only 30 or 35 mph, a child who is not buckled up could be seriously hurt or killed in a crash.
I like to see my baby when I’m driving. Does she really need to be rear-facing?
a. It's normal to want to always see your baby, but your child is much safer when your eyes are focused on the road. Babies and toddlers should be rear facing until 2 years old, or until they reach the height and weight limits of their seat. Always keep your baby in the back seat, because a frontal airbag is very dangerous to kids, especially rear facing kids.
3 But my baby’s legs are too long to be rear-facing; can’t I turn him around now?
a. What is uncomfortable for an adult isn’t necessarily what is uncomfortable for a child. Babies and toddlers are much more flexible than adults, and their legs can be bent or touching the seat of the vehicle without them being uncomfortable. Leg injuries are no more common for rear facing babies than for forward facing kids. A child’s head and neck are much safer when he is rear-facing in case of a crash.
Sometimes my mom takes my baby to her house. Do I need to move the car seat to her car, just for one afternoon? It’s such a pain!
a. We know it can be a pain, but yes, your child always needs to be properly restrained in any vehicle, even just for one trip. This is why it’s important to learn how to install and uninstall your child’s car seat. Once you are comfortable with the process, it becomes much quicker and easier.
There are so many different seats on the market, I can’t decide which one to buy. Which seat do you recommend?
a. Choose a seat that fits your child and your vehicle. Unless a seat has been recalled, all seats that are on the market have met the same safety standards. If you have a small car, you may need to buy a smaller seat. If you have three kids, all in car seats, you might want to look for narrower seats that can all fit in your backseat. Many retail stores will allow you to try their display seats in your car before you buy. Just because a seat is more expensive or has more features doesn't mean it's safer.