Fact or Fiction? Busting Car Seat Myths


Content provided by BRITAX and Sarah Tilton


The advice of friends, family and even strangers can cause information overload for new and expectant parents. For especially sensitive topics, like car seat safety, BRITAX recommends parents review their car seat user guides, reach out to the car seat manufacturer with questions or seek guidance from a child passenger safety expert to ensure they’re learning the proper information.

To help, we’ve asked BRITAX child passenger safety expert Sarah Tilton to help us bust some myths!


Fact or Fiction: I ONLY can use a rear-facing (infant) car seat to bring my baby home from the hospital.

Fiction: While we promote the use of rear-facing only car seats to transport a newborn baby, plenty of convertible car seats can be used in rear-facing mode for an infant and then forward-facing mode for an older child.


Fact or Fiction: The AAP recommends that children ONLY ride rear-facing until they are 1 year of age. Then you can turn them around.

Fiction: ALL infants and toddlers should remain rear facing until they are 2 years of age OR until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.
Fact or Fiction: About 3 out of 4 car seats are not used correctly.
Fact: According to NHTSA, Nearly 73% of child restraints are not installed or used correctly AND about 96% of parents think they have it correct.


Fact or Fiction: My car seat came with hooks (or connectors) and my car has metal bars, so I can use this and the vehicle seat belt to attach my seat.

Fiction: The LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system and the vehicle’s seat belt system should not be used together, unless the car seat manufacturer allows this method. Each car seat differs in instructions for when to use the LATCH versus when to use the seat belt system. Check your car seat and vehicle seat manuals for confirmation.


Fact or Fiction: It is okay to use “baby sleeping bags” to keep my baby warm on the road and hang toys from my infant car seat handle for entertainment?

Fiction: Check with your car seat manufacturer! Many will tell you that the use of non-approved accessories will void your warranty. Several companies manufacture accessories specific for their make and model of car seats
As always, visit a local car seat check or consult with the car seat manufacturer if you have questions about your installation. Visit https://www.safekids.org/events to find car seat check events near you!


About Sarah Tilton:
Sarah is an internationally recognized child passenger safety advocate and is deeply embedded in the study and advancement of child passenger safety. She is highly involved in public outreach programs, practical automobile safety training & research and child passenger technician training. Sarah is the Child Passenger Safety Advocate for BRITAX Child Safety, Inc. Sarah also serves as Chair of the National Child Passenger Safety Board and has been an active Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) since 2002 and CPST Instructor since 2004.