Posted by: Lisa | November 29, 2010

Car Seat Safety – Addendum

Thanks to Renee for some extra information about car seat safety:

1. Car seats expire!  Do not use a car seat that is more than 5 years old.  Period.

2. If a car seat has been in a car accident it should be replaced.  You may not be able to see the damage but parts may not be as strong as they were before the accident.

3. Avoid dressing a child in bulky clothing, many layers, or heavy coats while he’s in a car seat.  The extra material can affect the tightness of the straps & therefore compromise safety.  Instead, remove jackets before putting the child in the car seat, cover him with a blanket after straps are secure, & then put the jacket back on when you arrive at your destination.

4. Outgrowing a car seat doesn’t just mean reaching the weight limit.  Height also matters.  Jacob’s infant seat had a 30-pound weight limit, but he didn’t reach that weight until 7 months after he hit the maximum height for the seat.  When your child is within an inch of the top of the seat it’s time to find a new one!

5. All car seats sold in the U.S. meet safety regulations.  Expensive seats do not necessarily mean they’re safer.  Many seats that cost more simply have more bells & whistles, such as extra padding, straps that adjust more easily, covers that come off easily, cup holders, etc.  Larger, more expensive seats also often come with a higher weight or height limit.

I recommend the book Baby Bargains by Denise Fields & Alan Fields.  This book is filled with excellent information about every baby product you can imagine, including car seats.  It gives good details about many different models as well as pricing information, recalls, etc.  It ranks the seats based on price, safety, ease of use, & customer service.  At the end of each section is a “good,” “better,” and “best” option for each price range.



  1. Great tips.

    Too often what the child is wearing os overlooked in the saefty side of things, but this is so important – especially in the heat!
    Thnks for sharing

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