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Archive of posts published in the category: Basics

Car Seat Basics – Selection and Use

Car Seat Basics: Selection and Use

According to
the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention
, motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of kids in age groups 1-14.  Safe Kids USA says motor vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of
unintentional injury-related death for all children 14 and under.  While some crashes are
unsurvivable, over 57% of deaths for children 0-15 were because the child was
unrestrained.  Many more were improperly restrained.  Nationally,
the misuse rate for child safety seats is over 80% and as high as 95% in
some areas.   The good news is that correct use of car seats and
boosters does save lives.  Infant seats have been shown to reduce
fatal injury by 71%, and toddler seats by 54%.  The information
and links on this web page can help you with one of the easiest and most
important ways you can protect your children.

Ten Basic Rules:
  • Kids 12 and under should ALWAYS ride in the back seat.
    This cuts their risk of death by 36%.
  • Kids should be in a carseat or booster until they can be seated
    properly in a seatbelt
    .  For most kids, this is around 8-12 years
    old or 4′ 9″ tall, but proper seatbelt fit is the most important
  • Never place a rear-facing carseat in the front seat when
    there is an active frontal airbag.
  • Keep your baby rear-facing
    as long as possible.  That can mean up to 35 or 40 pounds in most
    current convertible seats, unless they outgrow it by height
  • All current car seats pass government safety standards.  
    Select the one that best fits your child, your vehicle and your
      Some models do have different features; select one that
    has the features that will allow you to use it correctly EVERY
  • Always read the owners manuals for your vehicle and carseat
    thoroughly.  They often contain specific information about carseat
    installation that may not be obvious.  Some models may vary from what
    you would expect.
  • Make sure that the harness fits snugly on your child, the carseat
    fits snugly in your vehicle, and that your vehicle seatbelts
    are locked properly.
  • When you buy a carseat, make sure
    you have a good return policy in
    case it doesn’t fit or in case you find you don’t like it.  Have your
    seat inspected by a certified technician for free at a checkup event or fitting
  • Please be wary of used carseats, especially those over six years old, those
    with an unknown history that may have been in a crash, those that show any
    form of cracks or damage, and those with missing labels, model number,
    manufacturing date, instructions or parts.
  • Please give driving your complete, unimpaired attention and wear your
    own seatbelt all the time.  These two simple steps are among these
    easiest ways you can protect yourself and your passengers from injury or

Also see our Frequently Asked Questions List for answers
to other common carseat issues.

Selecting the Appropriate Carseat for


Top Tips and Planning Basics

Like the song says, you’re going to the chapel to do you-know-what. But how’s Mom getting there? Or your bridesmaids, or for that matter, your fiancé(e)? And just as important, how’s everybody (wedding guests included!) getting from the ceremony to the reception… and then home? Unless you plan on beaming up to your destination, it’s time to work out some wedding transportation logistics. Start with our expert guide.

When Should You Book Your Wedding Transportation?

When there are between four and six months to go, it’s time to think about your transportation… aka when you’ve long settled on your date, ceremony and reception sites and wedding party size. If you’re marrying in April, May or June—prom and graduation season—high-class vehicles will be in high demand, so you’ll need to book your transportation even earlier. Pro tip: Make the final reservation in person so you can inspect the vehicles and ask which one(s) you’ll be getting.

Who Should You Transport?

Your first step is to take a headcount for immediate family and VIPs. For many weddings, that means the couple, their wedding party, both sets of parents, siblings not in the wedding party and grandparents. Some couples also provide wedding transportation services for close relatives, out-of-towners or all guests. So where do you draw the line? The decision will probably come down to budget, but you should also consider the following:

Distance: If your ceremony and reception venues are only a short distance away from each other, you’re in the clear. But there’s a cutoff—if they’re more than 30 minutes apart, you should definitely consider providing transportation for all wedding guests so you don’t inconvenience them with Uber charges and long, tedious drives. Keep other distances, like the miles between your wedding venue(s) and the hotel where you’ve booked room blocks, in mind too.

Location: If you have lots of people coming in from out of town (who might not have cars with them) and/or have a hard-to-get-to or hard-to-find location, you should also consider booking transportation for guests.

Special needs: Think about anyone who might otherwise struggle to transport themselves and organize a travel plan for them—for example, asking your brother to pick up your 90-year-old grandma who isn’t comfortable behind the wheel. 

Even if you decide not to book transportation for certain guests, you can still throw them a bone. In your invitation suite or on your wedding website, do provide information about public transportation. This can include where to catch a cab, phone numbers of (reputable!) local services, and estimates of how much each option will cost (that way, no one will have to worry whether they have enough cash on them). Another thoughtful option is providing discount codes for rental cars. (FYI: Wedding guests get up to 25 percent off the bill if they book a Budget rental car through The Knot.) 

Also, check with the hotels you’ve reserved rooms at to see whether they provide any sort of airport shuttle service; if they do, definitely clue