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?
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
DD1- July 2004
DD2- April 2006
DS1- December 2009
DS2- August 2011
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.
Michael J. Petrides Complex
715 Ocean Terrace
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.