Sunday, March 13, 2011

Safety First...

Yesterday my husband told me that my son was getting way too big for the extra car seat my in-laws have. We bought the seat when I had no idea abut car seats so it was just whatever we could get for as little money as possible. Since then I have become very well versed in car seat safety and what seats are the safest. After much research I bought both of my kids Radian XTSL seats and even though it hurt to put out the money for them I feel completely confident in their ability to save my kids lives in the event of a car accident. Researching car seat safety opened my eyes to so many things I did not know- you should rear face your children as long as possible (turning them around at one year old is not a good idea) and that kids should stay in a five point harness for as long as possible.

So when my husband said my son was outgrowing the extra seat I starting researching what the safest forward facing and harnesses seats were. I found the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of the safest booster/combination seats. In the best bet column were four seats- the Evenflo Maestro which was pretty inexpensive but only harnessed up to 50 lbs, two Recaro seats which were just not what I was looking for and the seat we bought on Amazon today, the Britax Frontier 85. I went with the Britax because my son can stay harnessed to 85 lbs and once he hits the harness limit it turns into either a highback booster or a regular no back booster. I know a lot of kids at my son's nursery school have already been switched to booster seats but it just is not the safest option to protect your kids in the event of an accident.

During my research I found the Kyle David Miller Foundation. This family lost their son in a car accident and afterward found out that his death could have been prevented if they had had him in a harnessed seat instead of a booster seat. It is so heartbreaking to read the events of the day they lost their son but they are trying to spread awareness of car seat safety to prevent other parents having to go through what they went through.

I really urge everyone to research car seat safety. Just because a store sells a seat does not mean that it is the safest option for your child and just because something is the normal thing to do does not mean that it is the safest option for your child. Will my kids look like weirdos being in harnesses car seats throughout elementary school- I suppose so but I would do anything to save my children's lives and making them look like weirdos is one of them.

I did not write this post to look down on others who have not made the same decisions as me- I wrote it because I was a parent who just assumed whatever seat I bought was fine and that when my baby hit one I should flip their seat around and that when my child outgrows their car seat they should use a regular booster seat. I want to let other parents know who may have not even thought of these issues that there are safer restraint options for their children.


  1. I am having the same issue with my daughter she is in 2nd grade and is in a booster. Many of her friends do not ride in them anymore and also sit in the front seat. Today was her 8yr check up so we made a deal with her that if our very safety minded doctor said it was okay to get rid of it we would. He said the fact that she weighs 55 lbs it would be best to wait a little while longer. He also backed me up on no front seat until 13 yrs old. I get many looks from parents when I send her with her booster to overnight parties and play dates. I just prefer her to stay safe.

  2. Good for you!
    It really is crazy that parents would let eight year olds sit in the front seat- I am an adult who is five feet tall and the front seat belt barely fits me correctly.
    It is also silly that parents don;t booster their kids longer and then give parents who do funny looks- a booster seat is so unobtrusive in a car but can be such a life saver if God forbid there was an accident.