Rear facing only car seats offer quite a lot when it comes to convenience. These types of car seats typically include two parts — a base that remains installed in the vehicle and an infant carrier portion that easily snaps in and out of the base. Many caregivers like this type of car seat for newborns and younger babies because it makes bringing the baby to and from the vehicle fairly easy. We’ll highlight some of the common challenges and suggest ways to use your child’s rear facing only car seat safely.
Inflatable seat belts combine airbags and vehicle seat belts into one high tech package, offering adult passengers an additional, passive level of protection in the event of a crash. The addition of air bags to today’s vehicles offers an important level of additional protection for adult passengers. However, for all the protection that these lifesaving devices offer to adult passengers, they pose some challenges when it comes to car seat installation.
Some young adults fit better in the seat belt than their parents. My teenager is as tall as I am. As a short Child Passenger Safety Technician, I feel the pain of other short parents. We get questions about this often — “I’m an adult, I don’t pass the five step test. Do I need a booster seat?” The short answer is no, you don’t.
We’re thrilled to see more laws in more states align closer to best practice. As of January 1, 2017, California will join the states with laws requiring children to remain rear facing in their car seats until at least 2 years of age. On that day, California also adopts a law banning all cell phones from being held by the driver.
Your tiny baby has, somehow, grown into a big kid. The little squishy newborn who you were so careful to keep rear facing as she became a toddler and a preschooler, and for whom you researched combination seats, and then learned to convert her seat to a booster, and kept in a backless booster until she fit in the seat belt, finally passes the five step test. After wondering how that happened so fast, you might wonder if she can now safely ride with you in the front seat.
For much of North America a big yellow bus means kids are going to school (and for parents in late August that can be a big relief!). Putting a school age Little on the bus for the first time can be stressful for lots of reasons, but in general parents can rest assured that yellow buses are a very safe way to get kids from home to school and back again.
We’ve all been there. Parents post a cute picture of their cute baby on Instagram in her car seat and the Chest Clip Brigade starts in with murmurs of, “Gently, mama, her chest clip needs to be 3mm higher on her chest or your baby will die in an accident. Don’t you love your baby?”
Our Facebook page and our Facebook group are home to many, many questions from caregivers. One of the most common questions is how to choose the right car seat. In many cases, the child in question is well over 2 years old and rides forward facing but is not yet ready for a booster. Sometimes a great deal on a convertible car seat seems too good to be true and our users don’t want to pass up what seems like a great deal. The catch is that the convertible or multimode car seat on sale might not be the best value for a child who is already forward facing. That very common scenario begs the question: what type of car seat — convertible, multimode, or combination is best for this kiddo?
Using the top tether in conjunction with installing a forward facing car seat is one of the easiest things a parent can do to help protect their children. It’s the law in Canada to use a tether for all forward facing seats, and has been since 1989; in Australia all seats have been tethered since the 1970s. And yet in the United States, where it’s been highly encouraged since 2000, tether use is often less than 50%, and in some types of vehicles it’s as low as 17.2% (Jermakian, 2011).
By now, it is hopefully common knowledge that children should face the rear of the vehicle for at least 2 years, but eventually kids do need to forward face.