Finding the right car seat for your little passenger is an important task for all parents. Recent legislation states all children in California must be in rear-facing car seats until age two. If you’re traveling this summer, consider the following guidelines for passenger safety from the experts of CHOC Children’s community education department.
No matter what your mode of transportation might be, bring your own car seat whenever possible, instead of renting one through a car rental service, says Amy Frias, community educator at CHOC.
“It’s hard to know if that company has really kept the car seat clean, if it was ever involved in a crash, or recalled ,” says Frias.
If you are flying and cannot travel with your own car seat, and you are meeting family or friends, have them bring a car sear to the airport when you arrive.
Children over the age of two must have their own seat on an airplane, and in these circumstances, says Frias, using an appropriate car seat protects kids from turbulence.
When purchasing a car seat, CHOC community educators recommend purchasing a seat that fits well into your vehicle, fits your child and your budget. Another consideration would be if you travel often by air, you may want a lighter seat.
Summer is also a popular time for recreational vehicle travel. Many parents assume that RVs have the same safety standards as a bus, given their size, which is not true, says Frias.
The most common injuries related to RV travel revolve around projectiles- which could even include cabinetry that appears properly mounted to the interior walls. Loose objects in the RV pose additional dangers.
“If your family is traveling by RV this summer, the safest place for your child to ride is in a car that may be caravanning with the RV, and properly restrained in their appropriate car seat,” says Frias. “RVs are rarely ideal for transporting children.”
Car seats should never be installed in RV seats that face backwards or sideways. For all passengers, make sure they are buckled up when the RV is moving.
“Traveling with kids can be exciting but challenging says Frias. Parents should remember that safety doesn’t go on vacation when you do.”
For questions about the car seat that is best suited for your family, call CHOC’s community education department at 714-509-8897.