Fact or Fiction? Busting Car Seat Myths

Pinnacle 90

{ disclosure: Content provided by BRITAX and Sarah Tilton. No compensation or product was received for this post, I just love to pass on a little wisdom. }

This month Britax releases the all new BRITAX FRONTIER™90 and PINNACLE™90 withClickTight™ technology to address new weight limits on LATCH system which installs safely, securely and easily every time.  To learn more about their new car seats, check out my post HERE.  Who better to bust some car seat myths than the name in car seat safety, Britax!

The advice of friends, family and even strangers can cause information overload for new and expectant parents. For especially sensitive topics, like car seat safety, BRITAX recommends parents seek guidance from a child passenger safety expert to ensure they’re learning the proper information.

To help, we’ve asked BRITAX child passenger safety expert Sarah Tilton to help us bust some myths!

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Fact or Fiction: I ONLY can use a rear-facing (infant) car seat to bring my baby home from the hospital.

Fiction: While we recommend using an infant car seat to transport a newborn baby, plenty of convertible car seats can be used in rear-facing mode for an infant and then forward-facing mode for an older child. If you can purchase a seat made specifically for infants, however, you should because they’re designed to fit tiny babies. A child wouldn’t wear the same pants from infancy to 4 years old; similarly, we recommend a car seat that is tailored to a child’s age.

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Fact or Fiction: When installed and used correctly, child safety seats (car seats and boosters) and safety belts can prevent injuries and save lives.

Fact: Child safety seats can reduce fatal injury in a vehicle crash by up to 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers (ages 1 to 4). That applies to vehicle seat belts, too. Buckle up, parents!

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Fact or Fiction: The car seat harness should be snug enough so that you cannot pinch webbing between your thumb and pointer finger.

Fact: Take up the slack! Test at the child’s collar bone and try to pinch the webbing up and down. Your fingers should slide off. If they don’t slide off, tighten the harness. Did you know that about 60 percent of harnesses are not tight enough? If you’re unsure, stop by a local car seat check. They can help you with installation and proper fitment.

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Fact or Fiction: My car seat came with hooks (or connectors) and my car has metal bars, so I can use this and the vehicle seat belt to attach my seat.

Fiction: The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system and the vehicle’s seat belt system should never be used together. Each car seat differs in instructions for when to use the LATCH versus when to use the seat belt system. Check your car seat and vehicle seat manuals for confirmation.

As always, visit a local car seat check after every installation to ensure your seat is safely and securely installed into the vehicle. Visit www.safekids.org/in-your-area/ to find car seat checks near you!

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About Sarah Tilton
Sarah Tilton is a child passenger safety advocate with Britax.  An active Certified Passenger Safety technician and instructor, Tilton frequently participates in child passenger safety activities at a local, state and national level. She is active with Safe Kids Charlotte Mecklenburg and is a member of the North Carolina Child Passenger Safety Training Committee.