20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, 9/25/15 - 9/27/15, Raleigh, NC
When you become a parent for the first time and it’s time to leave the hospital it may dawn on you that you have no idea what you are doing. Though you’ve read the car seat manual and installed it correctly, those lingering doubts may still remain. Did I put it in right? Do I have him properly latched? How tight should the restraints be?

It’s the real first test as you decide you’re going to venture beyond your home somewhere with the kid in tow that when it comes to the safety of your child, you want to make sure it is done right especially when you are travelling in a car.

It’s a comfort to know that when it comes to car seat safety, Britax has your back. No matter how long we’ve been doing this parent thing, we just forget stuff. That’s why this past week, Britax as sponsor of the 20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, teamed up with us to discuss car seat safety and answer questions from fans of our Facebook page about finding #TheRightSeat.

20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, 9/25/15 - 9/27/15, Raleigh, NC

Questions & Answers

Here are a handful of some great exchanges between our Facebook fans and Britax from last week’s super successful chat:

Q : There are so many car seat options, how do you know which brand is the safest , the statistics of lives saved per car seat brand would help me choose which one to buy? (especially since my wife has done a great job at totaling out 2 vans, luckily no kids were in the vehicle at the time. But I’m worried about the future)

Britax : Great question! All car seats must meet the same standards set by the NHTSA, which helps consumers know that ALL car seats are safe, however, at Britax, we always meet and exceed those standards. Feel free to read more about our standards, here: http://bit.ly/1igbbBJ

Q: How do we know if our car seat is installed correctly, forward facing?

Britax : We always recommend referencing your car seat user guide and/or checking with a certified technician.  Not all Fire and Police stations have technicians on staff. Best bet would be to use this site as a resource: http://bit.ly/1daVzWa #TheRightSeat

Q: New Jersey recently came out with a car seat law … I know so many people that refuse to go by it… what could I say or do to get a others to listen. It’s all about the safety of the child. I have my 15 month old in a rear facing she’s only 20 lbs and my 3 year old in a 5pt harness forward facing. I see children younger than my 3 year old in booster seats with just a seatbelt

Britax : The best advice we can give is to educate your friends and family about Best Practice. Child Restraint Laws are different from state to state. Follow the Car Seat Best Practices & 5 Step Seat Belt Fit Test to pass all of the state laws – http://bit.ly/1UUqTV9 TheRightSeat

Q: My son is 17 months old now and he’s pretty big – 31 pounds and about 33 inches tall. We have a large enough convertible seat to keep him in rear-facing for a while longer and I know it’s important to keep them rear facing for as long as possible. However, he pushes his feet against the seat back when he’s rear facing and ends up loosening up his straps, which is an issue I’ve never heard about before. As he keeps loosening up his straps, should we be switching him to front facing or do you have some recommendations so we can keep him rear facing?

Britax : You’re doing the right thing by keeping your son rear facing, since he’s under 2. You’re right about his size. 31 lbs and 33″ is getting up there, but he’s still at the developmental stage of a 17 month old. What worries me is that he’s able to loosen his harness. Is it our seat? If not, have you spoken with the manufacturer?

Q : My kids are older so we are past car seats, but what do I need to look for in booster seats?

Britax : Hopefully this link helps you with finding the best features in a booster. – https://us.britax.com/prod…/safe-secure/booster-car-seats/

Q : My twins turn 3 in November what seat would they be in 25# and 32#?

Britax : At those weights, you could keep them rear facing still in a convertible, or if you go forward facing, then a convertible should still work for a while, or you could go with a harness-2-booster seat.

Q: My son’s in a booster seat (he’s almost 6yo) and hates wearing the middle strap that goes between his legs and fastens to his lap belt. Is there a point (age, height, weight) that it’s considered safe for a child to just wear a lap/shoulder strap with his booster seat, and NOT the between-the-legs strap?

Britax : Are you referring to the Britax SecureGuard Clip? If so, it’s not required, but recommended for added safety. You can adjust the length if it’s bothering your child or you may remove it at your discretion. – https://us.britax.com/product…/articles/secureguard-clip/

Q : How long should a baby stay rear facing? My son is tall and he hates it

Britax : It’s best for children to remain in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, until at least 2 years of age or until reaching the maximum height, weight, or seated shoulder height capacity of the seat. TheRightSeat

Q : How much safer is it to use the anti-rebound bar that is sold separately from my Britax car seat?

Britax : The Anti-Rebound Bar accessory is added to certain rear facing convertibles to limit the amount of rebound movement experienced in frontal-impact crash. Best way to explain the measurement of “extra safety” it provides, would be to compare it to using or not using a top tether in a forward facing installation. Seats will move more when they are not tethered or held in place by an anti-rebound bar. We recommend using tethers and anti-rebound bars, but it’s good to note that all of our seats pass and exceed the NHTSA standards without tethers or anti-rebound bars.

Q : What is the proper way to have my 7 year old child ride in my car?

Britax : We hope this info graphic helps you decide if he is ready for the vehicle seat belt or if he should remain in his booster. We recommend keeping children in their seats until they outgrow them by weight and height limits…not based on age.

britax-safety-demo

The #BritaxSafety Car Seat Challenge

On September 27th, at Marbles Kid’s Museum in Raleigh, NC four dads competed in the #BritaxSafety Car Seat Challenge. People voted for the dad they thought would win our #BritaxSafety Car Seat Challenge and entered themselves for a chance to win as well.  Four dads went head to head and competed for a chance to win a free car seat from Britax.

20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, 9/25/15 - 9/27/15, Raleigh, NC

In a close race, John Jackson from Sunbury, PA, Michael Bryant from Ivor, VA, Will Klinger from Raleigh, NC, and Eddy Barnett from Houston, TX,  swiftly but safely installed a car seat while representatives from Britax graded them on proper installation. Criteria for grading included: Does the seat move? Was the tether attached? Was the chest clip and headrest set at the correct height? Did they consult the seat’s user guide?

In the end, Will Klinger was victorious and for those who voted for Will will be entered into a drawing for a car seat of their own from Britax. In their usual giving nature however, Britax awarded all four dads with a car seat of their choice making them all winners.

20th Annual At-Home Dads Convention, 9/25/15 - 9/27/15, Raleigh, NC

Thank you to our sponsor Britax for holding such a great event and for our 20th Annual At Home Dad Convention.

For great advice on car seat safety, follow Britax on Facebook and to stay up to date and ensure that your car seat is safe, use the Safe Kids Worldwide website to find checks in your area.