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Pediatrician’s advice on Car Seats

Making Sure Your Child is Secure


By: Dr. Lisa Di Enno, MD, FAAP

It is an instinct to want to protect your child from being harmed by the outside world. One of the ways children can be injured is during car accidents – from the most minor to the most severe. Did you know that what could feel like a small fender bender to you could potentially cause damage to your baby’s spinal cord?

Car seats are crucial to maintaining the safety of your child. But they only work if they are installed properly.

Let’s go over a few car seat basics, shall we?

Types of Car Seats

There are many different manufacturers of car seats, but there are only 3 main types of them. They are:

  • Rear-facing
  • 2-in-1 convertible car seat (rear-facing to front-facing)
  • 3-in-1 convertible car sear (rear-facing to front-facing to the booster seat)

Babies should sit in the rear-facing car seat for as long as possible since this is the safest way for them. However, reading the instructions from the manufacturer will let you know which is most appropriate for your child. This is typically based on your child’s neck muscle strength, length/height, and weight.

Where to Place the Car Seat

Never, ever place your car seat in the front seat. They should always be installed in the backseat. The most ideal location is in the middle of the backseat. If you have a hump or console that won’t allow for this, then place the car seat on either side – as long as it’s in the backseat.

A Warning About Used Car Seats

There is a lot to buy when a new baby is arriving. So, it is no wonder why so many people are thrilled to receive used or hand-me-down items. What could be the harm? Well, for some things, nothing! Enjoy the savings! But, when it comes to your new baby’s car seat, buy it new. This is very important.

A car seat could very well mean the difference between life and death – which is precisely why it is not something to take lightly.

  • You need to make sure you have the manufacturer’s instructions so that it is installed properly.
  • Older car seats could have recalls and shouldn’t be used.
  • You won’t know if it has been in an accident. If so, the structural integrity may be jeopardized.


If you have questions about your car seat and whether or not you have it properly installed, contact the National Highway Safety Administration and speak to a child passenger safety technician in your area. And, as always, your trusted pediatrician is full of important knowledge to help you protect your baby in many, many ways. Schedule an appointment with XpertCare today!   https://xpertcare.vsee.me/u/clinic

Dr. Lisa Di Enno is the Chief Medical Officer at XpertCare Pediatric Digital Clinic. You can contact her at lisadienno@xpertcare.online  or text her at 760.696.0601 to schedule an appointment.