Car Seats, Parenting Essentials, Safety, Travel

Biggest Car Seat Myths Debunked

When it comes to car seats, we know there’s a lot of information floating about out there. It can be hard to know what’s true and what’s not. You may be getting confused by the different advice you’re getting from friends, family and the internet. We understand this can be super overwhelming. Don’t worry though – you’re not alone! We’re here to put to bed myths about car seats, replacing them with accurate and reliable guidance. Get ready, as we’re giving you the confidence you need, to buckle your little one in and hit the road! 

Baby being strapped into a car seat

Myth #1Children can sit in the front seat as long as they wear a seatbelt  

We can safely say child seats are very much required! UK law states children must use a car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall (whichever comes first).  

Although, our experts advise using a car seat, for all teeny tots and cheeky monkeys under 150cm/4ft 11in. Many retailers group car seats into different categories, to best suit your munchkin depending on their age and weight.  

Myth #2: It’s illegal for children to travel in a taxi without a car seat 

As if the rules and regulations surrounding cars weren’t confusing enough. Throw into the mix other types of vehicles and it becomes ten times more puzzling! 37% of parents believed they’d be fined, if their little ones didn’t use a car seat in a taxi. Don’t panic – it’s not true! There are in fact some situations where a car seat can be exempt: 

  • Short trips such as an unexpected emergency (only if they’re over three years old). 
  • Travel in a minibus, minicab, taxi, coach, or van (not in the front). 
  • If a third car seat will not fit in the back, then that child may travel without one (only if they’re over three years old).  

Myth #3: The law states you can’t use a carrycot in place of a car seat 

Whilst it’s not prohibited, our experts agree the safest way for tots to travel is in a rear-facing car seat. However, carrycots can be a nifty solution for newborn bubs.  

It’s particularly helpful if they’re premature or have a medical condition which requires them to lie flat. Keep in mind though, carrycots take up lots of space in the back seat. Therefore, it won’t be very practical if you decide to have more little ones. Plus, you’ll find your child will outgrow it faster than a standard baby car seat. Remember – never use a pushchair carrycot in your car, unless it’s approved for use as a child car seat! 

Myth #4: It’s okay to buy a second-hand car seat  

Mum looking for a car seat

Whilst a good bargain never goes amiss, we believe there’s certain things you should always buy new. This goes for car seats too – never buy a used one!  

After all, only the best for your bundle of joy. With most items you can spot obvious wear and tear. However, there’s some products where its damage may not be so obvious. If you’re buying second-hand, the car seat could’ve been involved in an accident, and its safety features compromised. You can’t be certain that these impairments would be visible to the naked eye.  

Plus, according to the RoSPA, child car seats involved in an accident should be replaced, even if they look fine. Remember – there’s more layers to your bub’s car seat than you won’t be able to see! For example, the frame and bedding under the outer part. This goes to show, you can’t be 100% sure of whether a used one is good to go or not. It’s not worth the risk when it comes to your little one. Nothing is more important than their health and safety! 

Myth #5The clothes they wear whilst in their car seat doesn’t matter 

Bulky clothing is a no go when you’re strapping your tot in. Though, we know how unpredictable British weather can be. We’re definitely no stranger to the typical cold, wet weather. So, the idea of not wrapping up your little one seems questionable. All you need to do is pop their coat or blanket over them, to keep them snug and warm.  

Myth #6: Switch your baby forward-facing as soon as they reach 12 months old 

Mum smiling at baby in car seat

It’s actually better to keep your angel rear-facing for as long as possible! In their first year, their neck and spine will still be developing, and sitting rear-facing helps support this. In fact, the BPA (Baby Products Association) reports it’s much safer, offering up to 75% more protection.  

Myth #7: It doesn’t matter how long my baby is sat in their car seat 

Road tripping with your little one will be one of the many joys in life. However, there’s a time limit on how long they can spend in their car seat. From the moment they’re a teeny newborn to 3 months old, the maximum length is 30 minutes. The suggested duration for babies and infants is no longer than 2 hours. Though, our experts advise keeping it to 90 minutes where possible.  

Hopefully now that we’ve busted some of those old as time myths, you feel more confident about cruising around with your sweetheart. There’s lots of information out there and as you can see, not all of it’s true. It’s all about breaking through the noise and getting to the bottom of things, which we’ve done for you! So, buckle up and ride safely with your cutie pie, knowing you’re in Kiddies Kingdom’s safe hands!  

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