Car Seat Craziness.

Oh the joys of being a parent.

Diapers, wipes, strollers, baby food, car seats.

It all seems so black and white. 

Kids need diapers.  Kids need food.  Kids need car seats.  

First they rear face.

Then they grow and they forward face.

Soon after they switch to a booster seat.

Then a seat belt, just like the rest of us crash dummies.

Before long they are shouting 'shotgun' and running to the front seat!

It seems pretty easy right? 

It wasn't until I became a mom x2 until I really realized all the rules (that continue to change) about car seats.  It seems like few people are clear on these rules.  Police officers, pediatricians, grandparents, preschool teachers, all have differing opinions on what is "correct" when it comes to car seat safety.  I'm not claiming to know everything - but here is some information that has come up over the past few years.

  • Did you know they expire?
  • That they have to be thrown out (with the belts cut) if you get into an accident (even a small one)?
  • That children should rear face as long as possible... 2, 3, 4, 5 years... 
  • That even YOU would be safer rear facing in the car (I mean I guess if you're not too busy driving)
  • That your child shouldn't be in a booster with a belt until they can sit still?
  • That ALL state have differing laws about this!?
  • That your car seat is probably installed incorrectly?
WARNING - I AM NOT JUDGING YOU.  I am just passing on some information (most of which I have violated at some point in my LONG (3.5 year) career as a mom).  So step off.  Don't shoot the messenger.  Now you know what is safer and why.  It's up to you to make the change, if you want to.

Here are some car seat safety facts (click on the links for their source):
  • Car seats expire 5-9 years after their production.  Each seat has a production date on it, and most have an expiration date.  Car seats that have expired should be disposed of in a way that makes it obvious that they are expired.  {click here for more info}
  • Car seats expire because technology, laws, and materials change.  Additionally the material car seats are made of degrades (extended periods of hot and cold makes plastic brittle). {click here for more info}
  • Children should rear face AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.  Now, don't get all up in my business about how uncomfortable your 12 year old will be facing backward - I am just telling you about safety here.  ANYONE would be safer facing backward.  With that said, kids should use their car seats in the rear facing position until they outgrow it NOT until they turn one (FYI D was 18 pounds at 1...).  Getting a car seat like the Dino Radian, that has a high rear facing height and weight limit is the safest option. {click here for more info}
  • Once your child is forward facing, they are safest in a 5 point harnessed car seat (meaning your car seat flipped around).  There are car seats that are forward facing until high weight limits (80 pounds) - so search for one of those.  Only AFTER they are over the height and weight requirements of their car seat should they be in a booster.  Here is a checklist of "readiness" signs for a booster seat (one that the seat belt goes in front of).  {click here for more info}
  • DO NOT use anything that did not come with the car seat (YIKES! I did) - this includes those snuggler things that make it so you don't have to wear a coat, pillowy things that wrap around the belts, NOTHING. {click here for more info}
  • DO NOT use those mirrors that let you see your kids (this one I continue to violate... I just wanted to be honest with you).  {click here for more info}
  • DO NOT put your infant seat (the one you can carry) in your carriage at the grocery store (I'm guilty again here!!) {click here for more info}  -- Instead snuggle your baby up in a carrier... I LOVE my Ergo and Kozy carriers.
  • Car seats should be replaced after an accident.  Any accident.  Your insurance should cover the cost of the replacement.   It's for this reason you should NEVER rent a car seat or purchase (or take for free) a used one.   {click here for more info}
  • The placement of car seat straps is different for forward and rear facing kiddos.  If your child is REAR facing, the car seat straps should come from BELOW their shoulders.  If your child is FORWARD facing, the car seat straps should come from above their shoulders.  {click here for more info}

How is ANYONE supposed to know these things?  

Are there public service announcements?  Door to door car seat safety specialists?  Education for pediatricians?  

What if I didn't have time to read up on this information?  What about the parents that haven't had a child in a couple of years and just assume everything is the same?  

I don't know, I figured I should share the information I have found... because it doesn't seem like anyone else is!  

Maybe you should share it too?

Resources for Car Seat Safety:
The Car Seat Lady 
The AAP Report of Child Passenger Safety 
GREAT Resource List from carseat.org 
Child Safety Laws by State (check them out!)


I share my posts here.  It's an awesome list.  Check it out.  Seriously.  It's a great list and if you visit blog parties you are going to want to check them out!  It's up to date, organized by day, and the links all work <3


Micki Sellers said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am very vigilant about our carseats and I do know they are installed correctly ;) What I didn't know is that our seat expires after SEVEN years! I thought it was 6, so that means I have a bit longer to go with my 6 yr old's britax seat :D I also keep my kids rear facing far longer than most. I think my youngest was just shy of 3 when we turned her around.


There are so many rules regarding car seats! It's exhausting!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

No problem! It is so hard to keep up with, especially since each seat has it's own rules and regulations!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

No kidding! I have edited this post no less than 4 times with more info :)

Anonymous said...

This is all basic information, but I can see new parents needing this.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

While it may be "basic" I have many friends who believe that when you're one you're supposed to turn the car seat around - because that's what the pediatrician told them. I guess maybe my circle is less educated? I didn't know ANY of this until I stayed home with my kiddos this year, and worry that if I didn't, I might never have known it.

SmilingSally said...

This will save little lives. Thanks.

Have a good Blue Monday, KT.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks! You too :)

cmac said...

Thanks for this. I have a draft of a similar post. The only way to get the word out is to keep talking about it and telling other new moms!

Hannah, Horn, and Hannabert said...

I like how everything is condensed in this post. We have one rear facing and one forward facing seats in our cars. We just couldn't get the other seat in securely rear facing....I am frustrated with the LATCH systems only being rated to a total of 65 lbs. That is silly. I also wish there were LATCH floor hooks for seats when rear facing. Our forward facing seat is so much more secure with the top LATCH hook (although I wish we could have gotten it installed more securely rear facing. We did make it to 2yrs rear facing which is soooo much longer than most people. I shared the post with my sister who is about to be an aunt and who, of course registered for all the car seat supplements.

Chubskulit Rose said...

This is very informative for us parents. Thanks for sharing.

Catching up with Blue Monday!
Feeling BLUE?
Your comment is always appreciated.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

So true!

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

The whole change of policy with the LATCH is really frustrating and quite honestly... hard to understand! :)

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Glad you found it useful!

Shannon Brown said...

This is a great reminder! I feel like recommendations have changed even in my short 1 1/2 years of parenting! I'm definitely looking into the Dino Convertible now for Baby #2. Thanks for linking up!

Jennifer @ Every Breath I Take said...

Wonderful wonderful wonderful resource! I'm featuring this in today's Baby Link Up! (Yet another example of your growing fame! :))


KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Yay!! Thanks :)

Ruth said...

Great information! These are those kinds of things that some mums may never have the idea. This kind of contents should be placed everywhere in the net. Thumbs Up! This may be considered little basic things, but can save someone else’s child. Keeping child safe is top priority right? And so are we in Just5.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Thanks for your kind words! It's not easy to keep up... I am sure things have changed since I posted this!

go here said...

Fantastic. Thanks for having time sharing it.

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...


Krystal said...

So I was in a car accident like two years ago with at the time my 2 year old daughter. It was a minor parking lot accident. Not my fault. The insurance company never asked about the carseats and I never thought of them, my daughter is now 4 and still riding in her radian 80. From what I read the manufacturer says this is not safe. Is it too late to discuss this with the insurance.

jyoti said...

hi, @KT @ OneOrganicMama
Thank you for aware me . It is very important for baby while the sitted with baby car seat .
thank you so much

Consuelo Nakayama said...

It's tough being a parent, isn't it? Too many rules to keep in mind! But at the same time, it's a very rewarding job to raise your kids. Anyway, thanks for posting this information! This should help a lot of first-time parents a lot. I would just like to add something. It's true that children should rear-face in general. But under U.S. laws, rear-facing is not allowed if the child is seated in the front that has an airbag, as it places the child's head close to the airbag, which can cause severe head injury when the airbag deploys. Technically, it's not suggested, at the same time, very wise, to even keep your child with you in the front seat in the first place. Do you agree?

Consuelo Nakayama @ TreasureRooms.com

KT @ OneOrganicMama said...

Your child should not be in the front seat.

jake Bercher said...

I love the blog. Great post. It is very true, people must learn how to learn before they can learn. lol i know it sounds funny but its very true. . . choose car seat

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Growing-green said...

Thanks for the informative post! I did a review of nontoxic car seat options on my blog as well: http://growing-green.org/?p=22

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Anonymous said...

We went to BRU this weekend, our didnt have a ton of models for us to try. I liked the Graco Nautilus, but its forward facing only. We actually had some luck with the britax boulevard cs RF. So that's like the high end of the price range, not much in between to test out.

The Colourful Baby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoops Report said...

Fantastic. Thanks for having time sharing it.

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Mechael said...

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