Car Seat Safety FAQs
Q: When is the right time to buy an infant car seat?
A: It’s best to have your infant car seat on-hand at least a month before your due date. That way you’ll have plenty of time to have a professional teach you to install it correctly. Find a car seat inspection station near you here.
Q: How many bases should I have for my infant car seat?
A: To make transitioning between cars quick and easy, having one base for each regularly used vehicle is best. Will baby regularly be switching between your car, grandma’s car and the nanny’s car? Then having three bases will make your life much easier.
Q: When should my child transition to a convertible car seat?
A: To keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, transition to a convertible car seat when your child outgrows either the height or weight guidelines for your infant car seat.
Q: When can I use my child’s convertible car seat in a forward-facing mode?
A: Keep your child rear-facing in their car seat until at least 2 years old. Are your kid’s feet touching the seat back? Do they look a little cramped? That’s okay. Kids are a lot more flexible than adults. Kids need to stay rear-facing for as long as possible to protect their head and neck in the event of a crash. Kids do not need to be turned forward-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight of the car seat. Kids are fragile, and they are best protected rear-facing, even if that means they have a little less leg room.
Q: When should my child transition to a booster seat?
A: Even when your child fits the height and weight guidelines to use a seat belt instead of a full harness with their booster seat, that doesn’t mean they should. Maturity matters - most children younger than 5-years old are not mature enough to sit without a full harness. You know your child best, so don’t make the switch until you’re confident your growing child will sit still and safely without a full harness.
Q: How do I know if a car seat will fit my vehicle?
A: Before purchasing a car seat, test it! Most retailers will let you test a car seat in your vehicle before purchasing. You can also look for car seats with features that make installation simple, like bubble level indicators and multiple recline angles.
Q: Where is the safest place to install a car seat in my vehicle?
A: In most instances, the middle rear seat is the safest place for your car seat. However, there are multiple factors to consider; the most important being a seat location that allows you to install your car seat easily and correctly every time. See the recommendation from CarSeat.org here.
Q: Do car seats expire?
A: Yes, there is an expiration date listed on all car seats. Before using a car seat with your child, always check for its expiration date.
Q: Does my car seat need to be replaced if it’s been involved in a car accident?
A: Yes, you must replace your car seat if it has been involved in a vehicle crash, even if you can’t see visible damage. A damaged car seat may not protect your child in a future accident.
Q: Can I take my car seat on an aircraft?
A: All Chicco car seats are certified for usage on aircraft (FAA approved). Typically, you can also check car seats as baggage and most airlines will allow you to check in a car seat free-standing. You should not be required to put the car seat in a bag. Check with your airline for any specific requirements.