Car Seat Myths and Misconceptions
Understanding car seats and car seat safety can be one of the biggest minefields when it comes to parenting. We have put together a list of commonly believed myths with regards to car seats and answered them for you.
Car seats aren’t compulsory
FALSE – All children must travel in a car seat until the age of 12 or they reach 135 centimetres in height. A car seat is the safest way to travel as they protect their head, neck, and spine in an accident.
I can forward face my baby when they turn one
FALSE – Children must be rear-facing by law until 15 months. We recommend rear facing for as long as possible (aged 4 if you can) as it is 90% safer than forward facing.
My rear facing child’s feet are touching the back of the vehicle seat, is it time to turn them around?
NO – Children and babies are flexible. If you have ever seen a child sitting to play on the floor, you’ll know the shapes that they can sit in. Encourage your child to sit cross-legged or “criss cross apple sauce” and if they do complain after a long journey, stop for a break so they can stretch their legs.
After an accident, car seats don’t need to be replaced if there is no visible damage
FALSE – All car seats that have been in the vehicle in question during an accident must be replaced. Even if you can’t see visible damage, there could be hairline fractures in the plastic or polystyrene beneath the fabrics, thus impacting the safety of the seat.
All booster seats are as safe as each other
FALSE – High backed boosters are the safest to travel in. Not only does the side impact protection protect the head, but the belt guides properly position the vehicle seat belt over the shoulder and pelvis. These seats can reduce risk of serious injury by 45%.
Car seats can be used in the front seat
TRUE – Car seats can be used in the front seat, but they are safer in a rear seat. Check with your car seat’s fit guide to ensure that your seat is compatible in the front seat of your car first. You cannot put a rear facing car seat in the front seat if there is an active airbag.