5 dangerous mistakes far too many parents make with their car seats

Car seats are objects created to ensure the safety of children on the road. However, when misused, they can be even more dangerous for the child than the traffic itself. To make sure you are using this everyday item correctly, here is a list of 5 things you should absolutely avoid.

There are a very large number of everyday objects, which we use every day or at least several times a week, that we do not use properly. Or not at all. For most of them, the consequences of this misuse are often harmless or do not manifest any real dangers, we grant you that. But sometimes the consequences can be very serious.

We have become accustomed to not paying attention to objects that do not directly concern us. This bad habit ends up haunting us and we no longer even pay attention to the objects that involve us. Take for example a daily object of parents, which is supposed to protect their children: the car seat. You would be surprised to learn that the actions of some parents are in fact very dangerous for the little ones, and are more than contraindicated.

The car seat is what keeps and protects the child in the car. It's a kind of improved belt, armor against the road and traffic. But, if used improperly, it becomes the worst enemy of your child's safety. We have compiled a list of 5 things to absolutely avoid with a car seat, with the help of Maryline, car safety expert and creator of the blog Safety as well as the association “Traveling Back To The Road ”. We are ready to bet that you have already done at least one!

1. Remove the car seat too soon

This is mistake number one. We tend to believe that the more a child grows, the less he needs his car seat. Sometimes parents even grant their children the right to remove the car seat from the car because they have "past the age", Or because the friends don't have any more. Regardless of what your friends say, it's safety above all else.

According to Maryline, if he is strongly not recommended to remove the car seat before the age of 10, it is above all a question of size. Until the child is 1.50m tall, the car seat is still widely recommended. The specialist recalls and insists that the siege is "not a constraint”. This is a way to make the child as secure as possible for as long as possible. We know that children like to play adults, but their safety is much more important.

2. Passing the car seat too early facing the road

Generally, the French put infants rearward facing. Once they're a little bigger, they are automatically put in front of her. Big mistake ! “We must extend as much as possible ”, explains Maryline before adding "this is not a fad”. According to his figures, it would be 5x safer for a child to be rear-facing, it protects the child's head much better.

A few figures to support these words: in an accident at 50km / h, a child facing the road will suffer a shock equivalent to 300 kg on the back of the neck. If it is rear facing, this pressure will be equivalent to 50 kg, or a shock 6 times less. It should be remembered that in children the head is very heavy. Specialists recommend changing the car seat forward facing after 4 years. At a minimum, it is more reasonable to leave your child facing the road during their first two years.

Maryline appeals to “common sense" parents. This practice is very common, especially in Scandinavian countries. It is true that in France, we see very few rear-facing car seats for children aged 2, 3 or 4, and that is a mistake! It is essential to embrace this practice and apply it to the letter. There are obviously models of car seats suitable for older children. The expert even expresses the fact that, if possible, adults should apply this rule. So leave that seat rearward facing!

3. Leave the coat to your child

A seemingly innocuous error quoted like that, it is far from being. Indeed, the main purpose of a car seat is not to decorate the car. It is there to protect the child, just as the seat belt protects the older ones. It would therefore be a shame to take away his post because of an unfortunate little jacket.

Maryline insists that the harness, the shield, or the belt should be as close to the body as possible (we remind you all the same, driving naked is prohibited). The coat will actually add unnecessary and very detrimental thickness between the harness and the child. This thickness “drastically reduces product efficiency”. Same price for adults, take off your jacket!

We give you a little secret: “take off his coat ” is indicated in the instructions

Read also :

This is why you should NEVER install your child with a jacket in his car seat


This is fundamental. Do not read the instructions for an electric toothbrush or a Kinder toy, we want to understand. But the, it is mandatory. Maryline specifies that ALL the information is available in the leaflet. It may sound silly said like that, but reading the instructions correctly would prevent 70% of children (yes yes) from being incorrectly installed in their car seat. 2 out of 3 children are not properly seated in the car. Staggering figures from a road safety study.

It sounds barbaric, but you have to dive into it”, Supports Maryline. She also points out that there are a lot of misconceptions about what a car seat should and should not do. For example, many parents block the seat so that it does not move. However, a car seat that moves, that can be quite normal.

Practical point: more and more brands offer their instructions in video. You have no more excuses!

5. Buy a used car seat

It can be tempting in terms of price, but not safe. “Being green is great, but not for a security system”, Indicates Maryline. Indeed, even if a detailed description accompanies the product, nothing assures us that everything has been noted. “We do not know anything about the storage of the seat, its use, its history …”Explains the specialist. A car seat is like a motorcycle helmet, once there is an accident, even at 20km / h, it MUST be changed. However, a reseller can lie on these points. We are never too careful!

It is inconceivable to put your head in a damaged helmet, so it is just as intolerable to place your child in a potentially damaged seat.

Read also :

Crash test 2020: decryption of the best recommended car seats

Now that you know all about car seats, you won't make any mistakes! Security is often boring, it's true. Reading the leaflet is not exciting. But it is your children who are between the harnesses of these seats.

Thanks to Maryline for her expert advice, for her time and for this very comprehensive list. We advise you to read the articles on his blog to learn even more about car safety!