New Car Seat vs. Old Car.....

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SoniaNoemi138's picture
Joined: 01/24/11
Posts: 569
New Car Seat vs. Old Car.....

Hello!

We have a 96 Ford Taurus and a Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat. I want to make sure our LO is as secure as possible but the car does not seem to have the necessary hooks to latch the base to. SO seems to think that hooking the seat itself (not the base) up to the car with the seatbelts will be perfectly fine, to which I promptly said no! I want our daughter to be as secure as possible. I'm going to do more online research on how to install it securely. I even told him to go to a firehouse to make sure we are doing it right but he refuses. Any ideas or do we need a new car?

Roobear's picture
Joined: 03/26/08
Posts: 343

I am not familiar with that specific seat, but there is always a seatbelt options for the base. I don't think that LATCH became mandatory until 2003ish. Look at the manual, and find the seatbelt option. Once you have the base in, it never hurts to get a tech to double check it. Most infant carriers can be used without the base, just using the seatbelt, but it was never my first choice.

irishgirl's picture
Joined: 04/10/07
Posts: 1043

*lurk*
We have a 2006 Caravan and don't have LATCH in our van. I have two car seats (a nautalis and a marathon) hooked up with the seat belts, and will have a third come October. LATCH is actually not "safer" or "more secure" It's just easier. We have a newer (2006?) Kia that has LATCH and for the most part get a tighter fit with the seat belts in the van.

You can hook the seat into the car with just the belts, but then if you want to get the car seat out you would have to unbuckle and rebuckle it every time and that isn't the safest thing to do. The more times you uninstall and reinstall the more chances you can install it wrong. The best thing to do is install the base with the seat belts. When my second was a baby I used an infant carrier (a combi) for 3 months and had ours installed like that.

katielee83's picture
Joined: 11/13/08
Posts: 493

LATCH seems to get tighter than the seat belt in our cars, but the set belt is perfectly safe as well. If SO doesn't want to get it checked at a fire station, there is always someone at the hospital that can check it for you after you have the baby before you leave. That's what we did!

Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 344

You have little hook thingamabobbers to route the seatbelt under. Just tuck the LATCH hooks in a cubby or onto little hooks to keep them out of the way.

An issue with the Baby Trend car seats is that the handle has to be parallel with the seat while traveling. So it takes up more front to back space in the car. In addition, the handle has to have like an inch of clearance between the handle and the front seat, so unless you can get it in the middle, one person might be eating the dash a bit!

I'll come back with a link to car seat checks so a CPST can look at it. You shouldn't just go to a fire station, because they're not always certified and often don't know what they're talking about!

SoniaNoemi138's picture
Joined: 01/24/11
Posts: 569

WOW Ladies!

Thank you Soooo much for your input. I'll definitely be looking into securing it with the belts. AND having someone who knows what they are talking about look it over.

Thanks again!!!

BloomingRose's picture
Joined: 12/03/08
Posts: 992

My husband is the one who installs the seats/bases so I honestly haven't any idea as to what you should/shouldn't do lol!! Anyways, I suggest that if you're both not sure you should go to the local health unit or firestation etc to see if they can help and give suggestions to make sure the seat is properly installed. Hope you can get it figured out without too much stress! Smile

mandi04's picture
Joined: 08/10/03
Posts: 2272

I was under the understanding that with all infant carriers the handle should be down while driving (which makes all those toys you attach to the handle pretty pointless)
Like everyone said, before 2008 I didn't have a vehicle with latch and you can get the seats just as secure with seatbelts. I would reccomend getting the seat checked by someone certified to do so. Fire depts around here don't seem to have someone that is certified but every few months there is a car seat 'clinic' for free to get them checked. I wouldn't leave it as a decision for your SO, go by yourself if he doesn't want to. I can't remember the statistic but way too many car seats are installed imporperly. The most expensive car seat won't do anything if it's not secured to your vehicle the right way.

BloomingRose's picture
Joined: 12/03/08
Posts: 992

"mandi04" wrote:

I was under the understanding that with all infant carriers the handle should be down while driving (which makes all those toys you attach to the handle pretty pointless)
Like everyone said, before 2008 I didn't have a vehicle with latch and you can get the seats just as secure with seatbelts. I would reccomend getting the seat checked by someone certified to do so. Fire depts around here don't seem to have someone that is certified but every few months there is a car seat 'clinic' for free to get them checked. I wouldn't leave it as a decision for your SO, go by yourself if he doesn't want to. I can't remember the statistic but way too many car seats are installed imporperly. The most expensive car seat won't do anything if it's not secured to your vehicle the right way.

Funny you mention that. Heather goes to a preschool program here at a place called Brighter Futures. It's a place that does early childhood education, and also they do prenatal groups, and work with you till your child is 6 years old. Anyways, all that aside, one day when I drove Heather to school, Heather's 'teacher' looked at Hailey, who was still in the infant seat and said that the new 'rule' was that it couldn't be up anymore, it had to be in the down position. She obviously didn't agree to it either, because I said "huh? that's kinda stupid, what do we do with the toys that are life savers that clip to it?" and she said well, I dunno and shrugged which means she didn't know or understand or agree either. But she said that too many babies are not properly buckled in, and in the event of an accident, the baby flies up and hits the bar. I understand that aspect of course, however a small part of me feels that the bar, while doing alot of damage if someone doesn't properly put their baby in, the bar also stops the baby from flying about the vehicle... is that makes any sense? Of course, I would never want to see anyone's baby get hurt in any way while in a vehicle, but sometimes when they just spring these rules on us it just don't seem right. And if that's the case, then they really shouldn't make the toys to put on them. Also in my case, the little toy that goes from one side to the other, was a heck of a life saver. When we put her in her seat she was always looking for it because it was one of her favourite things to play with. It had a cute frog that made sounds/music and she just loved it. It kept her happy.

Sorry for rambling, but if we can't use them, they shouldn't make them. Bumper pads for cribs are also banned in Canada and yet stores still sell them. If the health nurse walks in and see's them, you're told to get rid of them.

synergy05's picture
Joined: 04/15/10
Posts: 1298

Staten Island
Michael J. Petrides Complex
715 Ocean Terrace
718 390-5150

Is your child car seat installed properly? 9 out of 10 car seats are not. Call to arrange a free inspection at a DOT Child Car Seat Fitting Station. A trained car seat technician will check your seat and demonstrate correct installation. Please note that we cannot accept walk-ins.

Roobear's picture
Joined: 03/26/08
Posts: 343

As far as the handle being up or down, I think you have to go with the manufacturer's rules in the manual. Some car seats specify it must be up, others say down. If you use it against the guidelines laid out in the manual then the manufacturer is not liable if your child gets hurt, and in some cases it can affect your car insurance if you are in an accident.

Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 344

UGH! Read your carseat manual!

EVERY car seat brand is different. Baby Trend and I believe some Evenflo infant seats require it to be down. I believe Graco is 3 of 4 positions are acceptable, but one spot is not.

I have a Combi Shuttle33, and it requires the handle to be UP at all times. Every brand is different, and you have to follow manufacturer's instructions.

Joined: 12/21/09
Posts: 344
SoniaNoemi138's picture
Joined: 01/24/11
Posts: 569

"synergy05" wrote:

Staten Island
Michael J. Petrides Complex
715 Ocean Terrace
718 390-5150

Is your child car seat installed properly? 9 out of 10 car seats are not. Call to arrange a free inspection at a DOT Child Car Seat Fitting Station. A trained car seat technician will check your seat and demonstrate correct installation. Please note that we cannot accept walk-ins.

Thanks so much for this. Saved us a step. I will definitely be calling this place.

SoniaNoemi138's picture
Joined: 01/24/11
Posts: 569

"epiclesis" wrote:

UGH! Read your carseat manual!

EVERY car seat brand is different. Baby Trend and I believe some Evenflo infant seats require it to be down. I believe Graco is 3 of 4 positions are acceptable, but one spot is not.

I have a Combi Shuttle33, and it requires the handle to be UP at all times. Every brand is different, and you have to follow manufacturer's instructions.

Definitely also on the To Do.

synergy05's picture
Joined: 04/15/10
Posts: 1298

"SoniaNoemi138" wrote:

Thanks so much for this. Saved us a step. I will definitely be calling this place.

Not a problem.. I just had DS carseat rechecked about a week ago. Just to make sure it's correct. I also have an appt for the new babies car seat to be checked in Aug.

Kate83's picture
Joined: 01/04/11
Posts: 587

:lurk:
seatbelt works just as well! infact, in my vam, the seatbelt is much easier and tighter then the latch system.

please dont listen to SO and not use the base, its not as safe. Take it to your local fire station and ask them to inspect it, or google carseat inspection centers in your area. Its something to take very seriously and I am glad your looking for help/suggestions.

Joined: 07/12/06
Posts: 831

Like some of the other ladies have said, using the base is generally a lot safer than just using the carseat with the seatbelt. Also, each carseat has been tested with the arm in different positions and has passed safety inspections in a certain spot... so, make sure you see where your manual says to have the arm positioned while driving. I have a Chicco Keyfit 30 and the arm has to be up.