Do You Need An Extended Rear
If your child has almost outgrown their Group 0+ car seat and youre shopping around for a toddler seat , an extended rear-facing car seat is worth considering, as it offers better protection than a forward-facing one. If youre buying a baby car seat for use from birth, its a good option too, as it enables you to keep your baby in the safest possible position for longer, making it a better-value buy as well.
Myth #: My Child Gets Carsick
Cleaning the car seat
This one is tough, its almost not a myth because we know there are a lot of kids that really, truly battle motion sickness. To any parent who has ever reduced the outer pieces of their car seat into a pile like this in order to clean puke from all the crevices: we feel for you. A car sick toddler is still extremely vulnerable to serious spinal injuries from forward facing too early, so we bring you some tips from seasoned vomit-warriors to help make your kiddo safe and less likely to lose their lunch.
If your child is prone to carsickness, consider carrying a lightweight basin with you or placing a towel over the childs torso to help minimize cleanup if all else fails.
Cybex Aton : Best Infant Car Seat
Wed be willing to bet that the load leg is responsible for the Aton 2s chart-topping third-party crash test results.2 It performs over 25% better than the federal standard in terms of chest acceleration and about 65% better in terms of head injury criteria.
The Aton 2 uses SensorSafe technology to alert you to unsafe conditions in the car seatsuch as hot or cold temperatures or an unclipped buckle. It features linear side impact protection and a five-point harness.
Ease of use score: 4
The Aton 2 earned an overall score of four out of five on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations ease of use report.3 Most of the evaluation comments refer to the need to rethread the harness straps and the fact that the manuals seatbelt section isnt very thorough.
Not great for extended rear-facing
The Cybex Aton 2 accommodates children up to 30 inches tall and between 4 and 35 pounds. Most children will outgrow the height restriction by their first birthday, which makes this an impractical choice for long-term use. From a price standpoint, youll get more bang for your buck by choosing a convertible or all-in-one car seat.
But the Cybex Aton 2s expiration date is six years, which means you can save it and use it for another kiddo or two without compromising on safety.
Upgrade to the Cybex Aton M
The Cybex Aton M adds a few features to the Aton 2:
- Headrest that adjusts to 11 positions
- Extra-large foldaway sun canopy
- SafeLock base
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Car Crash Stats: How Effective Are Car Seats
In 2019, 495 children under the age of 10 and 433 children ages 10 to 15 died in car accidents. Another 189,000 children from infancy to age 15 were injured.13
Twenty-five years earlier in 1994, the numbers were even worse: 1,123 children under 10 and 1,133 children ages 10 to 15 died in car accidents.14
While the overall decrease in fatalities cant be traced back to a single cause, restraint systems play a role.
A properly installed child safety seat can reduce fatal injuries by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers in standard passenger cars.15 Its estimated that at least 11,606 children under the age of four have been saved by car seats between 1975 and 2017.16
But not everyone buckles in their kids for every trip. In 2018, 35% of all children under the age of 15 who died in car accidents were unrestrained.17
Child car seat laws exist to encourage people to use the correct restraint systems for the longest possible time, but the specifications vary from state to state.
What About Off The Charts Big Kids
A 95th percentile child may look stronger than his 5th percentile friend, but in a crash the bigger child is MORE at risk if hes riding forward-facing. The rigidity of bones and the strength of ligaments in the spine is likely the same in children of the same age, no matter their size. And a 95th percentile baby likely has a much larger, heavier head, which will pull forward which much more force than that of a 5th percentile child.
Convertibles with high height and weight limits, enabling rear-facing for as long as possible
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Heres What You Need To Know About Forward
ECE R129 seats are based on a childs height.
- When height based seats are selected, the child must travel rear-facing until they reach the age of 15 months.
ECE R44-04 are based on a childs weight.
- When weight-based seats are selected, the child may travel rear-facing until reaching a weight of 13kgs.
We recommend the use of rear-facing seats for as long as it is possible. Rear-facing seats provide significant safety benefits to a child if involved in an accident.
The law intends that children should travel rear-facing until they are 15 months old. We would recommend that this should be the minimum age for a toddler to move into a forward-facing car seat.
Infant carriers manufactured to the R44 standard are approved to accommodate children up to a weight of 13kgs. At this weight, children will be different ages. Seats manufactured to R129 standard are similar in every way except they have been subjected to additional testing and are suitable for children up to the height of 87cms . Again, children will be of different weights and ages at this height.
Please remember, despite the lack of clarity between the regulations, the law, and their intentions, it is always safer for your child to travel rear-facing. It is possible to do this up to the weight of 25kgs .
Do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you have any more questions.
Are There Any Other Safety Tips
- Many seat manufacturers have online video tutorials that can help.
- Some local community resources offer car seat clinics. There may be someone who has been trained to help with installation or check that you have installed the car seat correctly.
- If you use an infant carrier outside of a vehicle:
- Always keep your child buckled.
- Do not put the seat on a raised surface because it may fall.
- Always take your baby out of the car seat when you arrive. A car seat is not a safe place to sleep.
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What About Booster Seats
Once a child has outgrown a forward-facing child restraint, they should use a booster seat with a lap-sash seat belt, until tall and old enough to fit properly into an adult seat belt.
Dr Rhodes says the gold standard is something called the five-step test to help you determine when it’s the right time:
- Can the child sit with back and bottom against the vehicle seat back?
- Do the child’s knees bend comfortably before the edge of the vehicle seat?
- Is the lap belt sitting low across the hip bones touching the thighs?
- Does the sash belt sit across the middle of the shoulder, not on the neck or out near the arm?
- Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
She said early transition out of a booster seat was the biggest area of concern, according to her team’s research.
“If your child is over seven, it doesn’t mean they’re ready to travel safely without a booster seat,” she said.
“It’s much more likely they will need that seat for another three or four years before their body is big enough for them to sit safely in a car without a booster seat.
“If a child is too small when they’re taken out of their child seat booster that seatbelt will sit across the child’s neck, and across their tummy.
“And when a crash happens, they get very serious forces through those areas and that can lead to more harm than protection.”
New York Car Seat Laws
According to New York State Law, children under eight years old should ride in an appropriate restraint system. Youll find the age requirement is the leading factor to decide which stage and what type of car seat that your child should sit.
The new version of the child car seat law was updated and effected on November 1, 2019, which required children who are younger than 2 years of age should ride in a rear-facing car seat.
When To Switch Car Seats
Its a good time to be a kid in a car: both cars and car seats continue to get safer, child vehicle fatalities are down , and car seat usage is up. Much of the effectiveness of a car seat rests in its specificity: it needs to be the right fit and size for the kid and their developmental stage. But with so many car seats available and configurations possible, it can be daunting to decide which seat to get and when to get it. Heres a rundown of the different types of seats and a checklist to see if your kid has outgrown their current seat and is ready for the next one.
Child Booster Seat Laws In New York
The New York law does not mention the age requirement for a booster seat. But it just gives recommendations that an appropriate child restraint system should be used for children who have outgrown forward-facing car seats, or when your child:
According to the explanation from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, the child restraint system can be a child safety seat, a harness, a vest, or a booster seat attached with the vehicle seat belt system.
Your child should keep using a booster seat until an adult seat belt correctly fits the child. The booster seat needs to be properly installed with both the shoulder and lap belts. Never use only the lap belt with a booster seat.
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States With Highest And Lowest Child Car Crash Fatality Rates
Stricter state car seat laws dont strongly correlate with lower car-related child fatality rates.
According to the NHTSA, fatal car crashes involving children happened most frequently in these 10 states in 2018.17 The numbers shown are representative of every 100,000 children in each state. For example, for every 100,000 children in Alaska, 7.5 were killed in a motor vehicle crash.
When Can Your Child Or Toddler Face Forward In A Childs Car Seat
Technically, forward-facing R44 seats are approved for children weighing from 9kgs and forward-facing R129 seats are approved for children taller than 76cms. However, there is no standard child. Two children weighing the same or being the same height will, no doubt, have different physiques.
At In Car Safety Centre, we will advise you to continue using rear-facing seats for as long as possible because it is simply safer than forward-facing.
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Understanding The Ease Of Use Results
The NHTSA created an Ease of Use rating system for car seats and publishes its findings every year.
We tracked down those reports and sifted through the data for you. Because the NHTSA recommends discarding car seats more than 10 years old, we only looked at data from the past 10 years.
The NHTSA evaluates child restraint ease of use across four categories:
- Usability of labels
- Ease of securing the child
- Ease of installation in a vehicle
Each car seat is given a category and overall rating on a scale of one through five, with one being the lowest and five being the highest. Ratings are weighted, which in this case means ease of installation in a vehicle is the most significant factor contributing to a car seats overall rating, and usability of manual is the least important factor.
What To Do With Your Old Car Seat
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Nuna Pipa Lite: Lightest Car Seat
We only recommend choosing the Nuna Pipa Lite if having a lightweight car seat is your hands-down number-one priority and/or if you need to prioritize stroller compatibility. It falls flat in pretty much every other category, which is disappointing when you consider its price tag.
For starters, it has a lower weight limit than other rear-facing-only car seats so your child may not get as much use out of it as another car seat model. Second, it meets but doesnt exceed the federal minimum standards for chest acceleration in crash tests . It does fare better in terms of head injury criteria, testing over 50% better than the federal minimum with a score of 431.
Could be easier to use
Speaking of federal tests, the NHTSA noted that many of the Nuna Pipa Lites labels and instructions were missing, unclear, or incomplete and that it only had two reclining positions. The Nuna Pipa earned an overall ease of use score of four.10
The padding material is hand wash only. We got a little riled up about this at first , but then we realized its also biodegradable, anti-bacterial, stain-resistant, and highly absorbent. All right, well admit it: that sounds like a fabric worth taking care of properly.
Good stroller compatibility
We also like that the Nuna Pipa Lite is compatible with around 15 different strollers, which should give you plenty of variety for finding one that fits your budget and expectations.
The Issue Is Still Cloudy
Although shes excited by the AAPs new guidelines, Shapka also has some concerns. With the specific age removed, it makes it more broad for parents, she says. Age two, while potentially not as long as wed want, was an easy milestone to watch for. Im concerned that removing the number will confuse people. In other words, while the AAPs goal is to keep kids in rear-facing seats beyond age two, shes worried this could result in kids turning around sooner than ever. The onus is on parents to stay up to date and informed with issues related to their kids safety.
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Toddler Parents: Keep That Car Seat Rear
New research suggests parents are switching to the forward-facing car seat position too soon.
When it comes to newborns, most parents know that a rear-facing car seat position is safest. But a new study reveals that three quarters of parents in the US report switching to a forward-facing position before their childs second birthdaywhich goes against expert recommendations south of the border and here in Canada, too.
As part of a 2013 national poll on childrens health, researchers at the University of Michigan asked parents of kids aged 14 when they switched to a forward-facing car seat. Their findings, published in the journal Academic Pediatrics, reveal that a quarter switched to a front-facing seat at or before age one, and only 23 percent of parents said they kept their child rear-facing until age two or olderthe minimum recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics , provided the child has not outgrown the seats height or weight limits.
Safety recommendations here in Canada arent quite as definitive as those set out by the AAP. The Canadian Paediatric Society says infants should be in rear-facing seats until they are at least one year old and weigh 10 kilograms , but adds that parents shouldnt rush to move to a forward-facing seat as young toddlers are safer in a rear-facing position.
Find out what you need to know to ensure a safe ride at every age and stage with our Car seat cheat sheet.
How To Keep Children Safe In The Car
The best way to prevent traffic fatalities is to drive safely and use the right safety restraint for your kids. The correct seat for your child will depend on their height, weight, and age. The best car seats are comfortable for your kids and easy for you to install.
Follow these car seat dos and donts every time.23
Always read the instructions before installing your childs car seat for the first time.
Always check to make sure your kids are secured tightly before every ride. The car seat shouldnt move more than 1 inch from side to side.
Always register new child safety seats with the manufacturer. This will keep you updated on recalls and important brand news.
Always match car seat harnesses to their designated slots as shown in your car seats manual.
Always use the top tether when securing a front-facing car seat.
Always buckle up with your kids. It sets a good example and keeps you safe too.
Never let your kids ride in the car without a safety restraint.
Never let your kids ride in another vehicle without the right safety restraints.
Never secure a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat.
Never buckle in your child while theyre wearing a bulky coat or outerwear. You can use the coat as a blanket or throw, but thick outerwear can make the seat less effective.
Never let kids under 13 ride in the front seat. Avoid letting them ride in vehicles with no back seat or active front-seat passenger airbags.
Never use an expired, recalled, or damaged car seat.
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