Before you have kids, there are a few things that you assume are easy to grasp but aren’t, like breastfeeding. Car seat safety is another one for me. As soon as I think I know what I’m doing, it’s time for a new seat!
I had a police officer install my infant car seat because I read that the majority of rear facing only infant car seats are incorrectly installed. I thought I was in the clear for car seat safety after that but as it turns out, that was just the beginning.
My vigilant Facebook friends made sure to post horror stories about children in car seats like fastening the seat belt over a puffy winter coat. Don’t do that! No coat underneath. Then one day, my sister properly adjusted Tommy’s straps. I took this picture to send to Nick so we would remember because we honestly were never shown. Tommy didn’t look too pleased with the new safety measures. #TBTTommy
September is Baby Safety Month, and I partnered and collaborated with Chicco today to answer your car seat questions and also help parents and caregivers remember to do all they can to assure their children’s safety.
I‘m also giving away one of their #1 rated KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seats. See details below to enter.
I asked you guys for questions on my Facebook Fan Page for Chiccos’ Child Passenger Safety Advocate. With more than 50 years of experience, Chicco is committed to keeping babies safe while making parents’ lives easier.
The first question, might as well have come from me, but it didn’t I swear! Tommy has just about out grown his infant car seat and we just got the Chicco NextFit Zip. The question now is when do we install it…
1. Should an upgrade or change from infant car seat to convertible car seat be dictated by weight, height or age?
To keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, transition to a convertible car seat when your child outgrows either the height or weight guidelines for your infant car seat. Keep your child rear-facing in their convertible car seat until at least 2 years old. It’s OK if your kid’s feet are touching the seat back or if they look a little cramped. Kids are a lot more flexible than adults, so it’s okay. Kids need to stay rear-facing for as long as possible to protect their head and neck in the event of a crash. Kids do not need to be turned forward-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight of the car seat. Kids are fragile, and they are best protected rear-facing, even if that means they have a little less leg room.
2. If you have two car seats, what seats should they be installed in? Is it ok to have a seat in the center, or should they be on either side of the car?
Before installing any car seat, it’s important to read your vehicle’s manual to understand if a car seat can be installed correctly in all three seats. In general, the middle of the backseat is the safest place to install a car seat and the placement of the second seat doesn’t matter. There is not one side of a vehicle that is safer than another, but the model of your vehicle and size of your car seats will determine if they can be installed next to one another. If you’re installing two car seats next to each other, make sure that the LATCH anchors and the seatbelt don’t interfere with each other. Also, the seats should install independently of each other. Convertible car seats like Chicco’s NextFit offer an exclusive ReclineSure® 9-position Leveling System, which provides the most recline options of any convertible car seat to accommodate a wider range of vehicles. Whatever you choose, make sure that you’re following the basic safety and installation guidelines for your car seats as proper installation can reduce fatal injuries to infants by 71%. [source]
3. What is the difference between a convertible and a 3-in-1 car seat? A convertible car seat allows for babies to stay rear facing until they are at least two years old, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Chicco also endorses that babies should stay rear facing until they are at least two years old, as that is the safest method. It is even a law in some states! The 3-in-1 car seat seems to be a good option for parents who see the economic benefit of not buying multiple seats, but most don’t realize that some 3-in-1 seats are forward-facing only, and convert from a car seat for older toddlers to a high-back booster and backless booster. This means you would still need to buy an infant car seat in addition to the 3-in-1 in some cases. When buying any car seat, it’s always important to do your research to make sure that it is in line with the most up to date safety guidelines and recommendations.
4. When should my child transition to a booster seat?
Even when your child fits the height and weight guidelines to use a seat belt instead of a full harness with their booster seat, that doesn’t mean they should. Maturity matters – most children younger than 5-years old are not mature enough to sit without a full harness. You know your child best, so don’t make the switch until you’re confident your growing child will sit still and safely without a full harness. Start with a high back booster seat so when your child falls asleep they stay in the correct position.
5. What are Chicco’s tips for transitioning children out of booster seats, into a real car seat with a seat belt?
Kids can stop using a booster seat when the standard seat belt fits them and they are mature enough to sit properly without the assistance of a seat. Before you stop using a booster seat, make sure your child meets all of the following criteria:
- Your child’s knees bend at the edge of the seat when his or her back and bottom are against the vehicle seat back.
- The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs (not their stomach).
- The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest.
- Children are usually between 8 and 12 years old when the seat belt fits them properly.
Thank you to the Chicco Car Seat Safety Advocate for helping answer these questions. They might have been your questions but they were already so helpful for me. What I love about my KeyFit 30 is that it snaps into my jogging stroller. This has been my savior since Tommy was born when it comes to running.
Want to spread the word about car seat safety? Share these infographics.
Chicco’s car seat portfolio offers car seats that accommodate babies from infant to toddlers up to 110 lbs, including the #1 rated KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat and NextFit Convertible Car Seat, as well as the KidFit Booster.
Chicco has created a car seat safety hub where parents and caregivers can visit for more information.
To enter to win a KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, leave a comment below sharing what surprised you the most about being or becoming a parent. I was surprised at how often babies sleep, I know that’s silly but I seriously didn’t realize how little they were awake at first! I’ll choose my favorite answer to win the car seat on Tuesday, September 27th, Winner will be sent an email.
This post was sponsored by Chicco. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We really do love our Chicco car seats!!!