Confused about car seats? You’re not alone! On the internet and social media, a lot of wrong, bad or outright dangerous info gets circulated around. So let’s put to bed some of these tired old myths with good and safe information instead.
TRUE or FALSE: Fire stations are the best place to have your baby’s car seat checked.
FALSE! The best place to get the most current education and learn how to safely and properly install and use your baby’s car seat is from a certified passenger safety technician (CPST.) While some fire stations may have someone there with this designation, not all do.
TRUE or FALSE: My child only needs to be secured in a car seat for as long as the law requires.
FALSE! Sadly, Florida’s child passenger safety restraint laws are truly the bare minimum of safety and don’t represent best practices.
The way this law is written means potentially thousands of children in Florida are transported in a less than ideal way. For instance, it says nothing specific about rear- or forward-facing or booster seat usage.
TRUE or FALSE: If your child’s legs are bent into the seat rear-facing, it must mean they’re uncomfortable and ready to forward-face.
FALSE: Actually, most children say their legs are more uncomfortable when they face forward, because they dangle. Research has shown that children are FIVE TIMES safer rear-facing in an automobile. We encourage parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible and to the height and weight limits of their car seat.
TRUE or FALSE: If your baby gets bored or fussy on car trips, keep them entertained with toys hanging off of the seat or by adding cushions/pads to their seat.
FALSE: Nothing should be added to your baby’s car seat that didn’t come in the box with it. These additional objects can become safety hazards.
TRUE or FALSE: It’s okay to buy a used car seat or take a hand-me-down from a friend.
MAYBE. First, check the sticker on the side of the seat and look for its expiration date. Second, check the list of recalled car seats to ensure it doesn’t have any recalls on the model. Finally, consider the source. If you know for sure that it has never been in a car accident, it may be safe to use. If you cannot be sure, it’s best to buy new.
Here at Buddha Belly our certified passenger safety technicians are available to do a home visit to help you with your car seat installation and education needs! Contact us to learn more.