Car-Safety.Org Carseat FAQ
The recommendations in this list are based on current best practice in the United States.
You must carefully read the owner’s manuals for your vehicle AND car seat.
The recommendations in the manuals should be followed if they differ from those given here!
Q1: Why should I have my child in a child restraint? Why do I need a seatbelt?
Q2: But aren’t there reasons against using a seatbelt?
Q3: What are the laws for child restraints?
Q4: How long should children be in a car seat? In their seatbelts?
Q5: Does the government give any advice?
Q6: How long should a child remain rear-facing?
Q7: When should a child be put into a booster?
Q8: My child is over 40 pounds, but isn’t mature enough to use a booster. Are there any options?
Q9: When can my child be in a regular seatbelt without a booster?
Q10: What is the safest carseat?
Q11: How can I find out if my carseat has been recalled?
Q12: How do I contact the manufacturer of my carseat or vehicle?
Q13: Which car seats are compatible with my vehicle?
Q14: Is a built-in child seat safe?
Q15: Do I need a separate carseat if my vehicle has an integrated child seat already?
Q16: Which carseats have higher slots or fit larger babies? Which ones are narrow or short enough to fit a small back seat?
Q17: Which carseats have the most features?
Q18: Should I buy a carseat with a harness or a shield?
Q19: Which other features are important?
Q20: Are combination systems with strollers and carseats any good?
Q21: My baby is N years old and weighs X pounds. What carseat should I buy for my model vehicle?
Q22: I have a very small newborn. What seat is best?
Q23: Where can I find a car bed or carseat for a child with special needs?
Q24: Which carseats can be used on an airplane?
Q25: How many years can I use my carseat?
Q26: Are used carseats safe to use?
Q27: My carseat was in a crash. Can I still use it?
Q28: A review at Epinions, BabyGearReview or Viewpoints said my carseat is not a good one. Should I get a new one?
Q29: Consumer Reports said my booster may be unsafe! What should I do?
Q30: Consumer Reports rated my carseat very low. Is it safe?
Q31: My child won’t use a carseat/booster. My child escapes his carseat. What can I do?
Q32: Where can I have my carseat inspected?
Q33: Is my carseat tight enough?
Q34: The top of my rear-facing carseat moves easily. Is that unsafe?
Q35: I can’t get it installed tightly enough. What can I do?
Q36: My carseat is tight, but I’m worried that it might gouge the fabric or leather in my car. What can I do?
Q37: What is LATCH? Is it safer? Does my car or carseat have it?
Q38: What are tethers? Can I use one with my car/carseat?
Q39: Can I use my tether strap when the carseat is rear-facing?
Q40: What is the safest position for my carseat?
Q41: My car has a fold-down armrest in the rear seat. Can I install my carseat in front of it?
Q42: My car only has lapbelts. What can I do?
Q43: Can I install a carseat in the side-facing jump seats in a pickup, or a rear-facing seat in a wagon?
Q44: Can I install a carseat/booster in a position that does not have a headrest?
Q45: Can I put my carseat in the front seat of my vehicle?
Q46: How far should my carseat be reclined? Should it tilt to one side?
Q47: Is it OK to put a towel under my carseat to adjust the angle?
Q48: My rear-facing carseat is touching the back of the seat in front of it. Is that OK?
Q49: What is a locking clip? Do I need one?
Q50: I only have a lap belt. Can I use a locking clip to make it tight?
Q51: Can I use non-regulated [aftermarket or third party] products to help install carseats or position seatbelts?
Q52: Can I use an infant head support? Is it OK to put a padded cushion under my child for comfort?
Q53: Which harness slots should I use?
Q54: How tight should the harness straps be?
Q55: Does it matter if the harness straps are all twisted?
Q56: Where should the chest clip (harness retainer tie) be on my child?
Q57: Can my child wear a winter coat in his/her carseat?
Q58: Is my child too tall or heavy for his/her carseat?
Q59: Is it OK to leave the handle upright on my infant carrier?
Q60: I think my infant or carseat is too hot. What can I do?
Q61: Is it safe to install my carseat near an airbag?
Q62: What about buses and airplanes?
Q63: Who can I ask if my question isn’t answered here?
Q64: Can you recommend some articles for further reading?
Q65: What are some other good Child Passenger Safety resources?
Car-Safety.Org Carseat FAQ