Things To Know

Car Seats: What To Know For Your Road Trip

Car Seat 101

Getting ready for Tiny Traveler’s first car trip—home from the hospital— we realized car seats are more complicated than we’d believed.  Ours had its straps pulled as tight as possible and we had no idea how to loosen them.

We looked the car seat over thoroughly, couldn’t find anything resembling a strap release and started to calling all of our friends who had babies and cars. Someone finally answered, clued us in to the secret and off we went with our new family member in tow.

It was a lesson that using car seats—and boosters— correctly is important and not as easy as many parents believe.  We use them for a reason after all, to keep our kids safe, to it’s worth taking the time to install and use them the right way and for a long enough period of time.

Car Seat Safety Month

I’m a proponent in keeping kids in rear-facing car seats, then convertibles, and finally boosters as long as possible, and to moving kids ups according to their size and weight rather than their age. So I was intrigued by and happy to post these graphics that Maxi-Cosi sent to us to recognize Child Passenger Safety Month.

Car Seat Innovation

Of course, car seats have come a long way in just the few years since we bought ours.  Britax now has a feature that helps you to ensure the car’s seat belt is as tight is it ought to be around your car seat. Bubble Bum makes traveling with a booster too simple not to. A new products called MyBuckleMate keeps the buckler easy to find and rigid so kids (and their parents) can maneuver the strap into it more easily. It doesn’t fit the buckles on my Toyota Matrix but here is a list of models it does work with.

Car Seat Stats

Hope some of these stats give you something to think about. For example, even if your state has the most liberal car seat laws, maybe it’s a good idea to follow the ages rules for one that’s more conservative. And of course, we had you have an incentive to double check those seat straps before your next road trip.

map of usage rules for car seats

safety regulations around car seats safety stats around car seats

Source for graphics: Maxi-Cosi


  1. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    October 14, 2013 at 12:11 pm — Reply

    Excellent post! My 8-year-old has been lobbying hard to get rid of her booster seat. I had no idea that she’d have to be in one in some states. No special seats are required in Malaysia where we live. It completely freaks me out to see toddlers bouncing around like monkeys or even some kids who stand up through the sunroof in a moving car.

  2. Mary {The World Is A Book}
    October 13, 2013 at 3:04 am — Reply

    This so important for every parent to realize and know. My 10 and 8 year old kids are still on booster seats too. I make them take it on fieldtrips too especially since they don’t meet the height requirements.

  3. Lisa Goodmurphy
    October 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm — Reply

    Agreed – nothing more important than making sure the kids are safe! My 10 year-old is still in a booster because she’s nowhere near 4’9″ and only weighs 55 pounds – I think she’s the only one in her grade that is still using one. My older daughter was past 11 before I let her stop using one too.

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