Child Passenger Safety Tips + GIVEAWAY

Child Passenger Safety Tips + GIVEAWAY


Giveaway Closed!
Congrats to our winners – Bri Black and her friend Valerie Bailey

During my visit to the Britax headquarters on Monday, I had the chance to interview Sarah Tilton, Britax‘s Child Passenger Safety Technician, to talk about important tips on car seat safety. While our Baby Gizmo Child Passenger Safety Best Practice Tips video from a couple of years ago starring many of our celebrity friends is still one of my favorites, it’s never a bad idea to keep re-visiting car seat safety, especially during Child Passenger Safety Awareness Week.

Let’s get a quick 20 tip lesson from our celebrity friends! This is an oldie but a goodie!

Improper use of car seats is a serious epidemic in this country. It seems like every day we see it – a child riding on a lap, a toddler in a booster seat too soon, twisted straps, the chest clip in the wrong place, forward-facing babies who should be rear-facing, expired car seats from the 90s…the list goes on and on.

As one of the leaders in the world of baby gear resources, we feel it is our duty to help spread the word about Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21). The devastating fact that three out of four child safety seats are improperly installed in vehicles (according to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) should have us all sit up and take notice.

Take a peek at Sarah Tilton’s car seat safety tips in this Baby Gizmo video that was shot this week at the Britax headquarters.

Now that we did the education part of the article, it’s time to get to a giveaway! That’s right, it just doesn’t seem right to have CPS Week and NOT giveaway a car seat! But that isn’t what we are doing today! We are taking it a step further and giving away TWO car seats!

Not only are we giving away one of the new Britax ClickTight Boulevard Convertible Car Seats but the winner’s friend is getting one too! That’s right – if YOU win, your friend also wins! Here’s how it works:

1) Enter the giveaway below.

2) For the second entry option, you need to tell us which of your friends should win a Britax ClickTight Boulevard Car Seat too!

3) Tell all your friends about the giveaway! EVERYONE! When they enter, insist that they use your name as the giveaway referral so that IF they win, you WIN too!

4) The only catch is that if you win, the friend that you list as your giveaway referral MUST have entered the giveaway in order to win the second car seat.

Yes, just one more video! 🙂 Want to know what you could win? Here is the ClickTight in action!!


What’s up for grabs:

One (1) Britax ClickTight Boulevard Convertible Car Seat

One (1) Britax ClickTight Boulevard Convertible Car Seat for the winner’s referral friend

HOW TO ENTER: Rafflecopter is back for this one but we are making it SUPER EASY to enter! Only one mandatory entry and the rest are optional entries. You can do them if you want or not. Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 and ends at 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, September 23 , 2014. US & Canada only! (Sorry but Quebec is excluded because of sweepstakes/giveaway rules!) But let us warn you – if you want the extra entries, make sure you actually do the entries! If you click on “leave a blog comment” on the Rafflecopter widget – make sure you actually leave a blog comment. We check! If you don’t do the actual entry – it doesn’t count! You won’t win. We’ll both be sad.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




  1. No winter coats..make sure everything is installed correctly ..have them.rear facing until age two make sure the straps are correctly tightened

  2. Taking the CPST course this weekend!
    Instead if bulky coats, put a fleece jacket on for warmth, then after the harness passes the pinch test at the collarbone, put a blanket over smaller kids/babies and bigger kids can wear their coats backward over themselves (arms through the arm holes so it looks like a snuggi)

  3. If you ever want to know anything about car seat positions, just ask my daughter, Samantha McComas, she is an advocate about car seats. We went to a yard sale this past weekend and a lady was selling 3 car seats, Samantha noticed they were all expired and informed the lady it was against the law to sell them. The lady took them away from people and put them in the garage to be disposed of. Good job.

  4. Children should remain rear-facing until AT LEAST age 2. My daughter is 20 months & still in her infant car seat. We’ve been holding off buying a new car seat in hopes of a better convertible car seat & the Britax Clicktight is the answer to our prayers!! 😀 I would LOVE to win this car seat!!

  5. Pinch Test.. Love our Britax seats. Just must daughter to a pioneer. Both my kids are 98% for height. So excited to hear these new seats will keep my son rear facing longer

  6. The 2 biggest things I have learned have been,
    1. You don’t need to turn your baby forward facing when they turn 1. They can remain rear facing until they they outgrow the specs for their seat, and are safer doing it.
    2. No bulky/winter clothes in the carseat.
    I did not know either of those things with my first child.

  7. You should not be able to pinch the straps if they are tightened properly!! Chest clip should be at armpit level. Forward facing straps should be above shoulders, rear facing shoulder straps below shoulders.

  8. Most importantly, leaving your child rear facing until you reach the maximum height/weight limit as per the carseat manufacturers guidelines. Also, not having any bulky clothing or added seat inserts on or around your child. I already have this seat for my son and would love to win these for my lil baby girl and my sister who is expecting her first baby in January!

  9. Always have the clip at armpit level. I taught my six year old to do this when he was little. Now hes the resident clip police for my two year old… “Safety first beauty” is what he says to her 🙂

  10. I have learned the a child should face backwards until at least 2 years old, but really depend on height and weight and its best to keep them facing rear as long. As possible its safer and protects there body and little head so much more.

  11. Always put the handle in the furthest back position while driving unless the car seat manual states otherwise (my nuns pipa allows you to keep it in any position)

  12. Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
    Your car seat has an expiration date – usually around six years. Find and double check the label to make sure it’s still safe.

  13. I would love to win this! I have not started looking for baby stuff yet since I am only at 17 weeks, but it would be nice to win something like this!

  14. Only use soap and water with a cloth or sponge and spot clean the fabric/cloth part. Putting it in the washer can effect how fire retardant it is.

  15. The car seat safety tip that has always stayed with me is that you should never attach a car seat with both the latch AND the seat belt because they work against each other in a crash.

  16. I think the best safety tip I’ve learned most recently would be how to get my car seat installed tightly, to where it doesn’t move more than one inch side to side or front to back. It’s a lot of work to get a tight install but a loose install is so dangerous.

  17. Never buckle your child in wearing bulky clothing/winter coat. Strap them in safely/properly, then cover them with blanket or coat backwards!

  18. The click thight would make it so much easier to install the Boulevard in the middle of my bench seat. I have a Boulevard there now, but have to move seats sometimes, and the click tight technology would just make it faster and more secure to properly install the seat with a seatbelt.

  19. I’m a CPST so I’ve learned a lot about CPS. 🙂
    Use it correctly — every trip, every time. Don’t get lax because you’re “just running to the store” or whatever your excuse is. Use seats to their maximum, not minimum requirements. Man, I wish my kids could be in a 5-pt harness forever! 🙂

  20. Make sure that the straps aren’t twisted and that the seats are installed correctly. Don’t trust others to install it for you. Watch videos or find a trained person to learn how to do it yourself

  21. I would love to win one of these. We just got a new vehicle and cant afford to get another set of seats for my 2 kids. We have been having to un-latch both 5 points and switch them almost everyday.

  22. Take your time to make sure kids are buckled tight and correctly, and get the kids invloved to make it fun and keep them aware. 🙂

  23. My daughter just turned one and outgrew her b-safe. It would be really great if we could have this convertible car seat. Definitely believe in britax safety and quality.

  24. This would be wonderful to win! I got the travel system for a starter for my little one because of the wonderful safety features that Britax has!

  25. The center rear is the safest position for a child restraint system. If vehicle does not allow safe installation in center rear seat, the passenger side seat is safest.

  26. When rear facing the shoulder straps should be adjusted below the level of the shoulders and when forward facing they should be above

  27. keep children rear-facing for as long as the car seat allows. keep children in the back seat in the car until they are thirteen or better until they learn to drive.

  28. I knew it but it’s good to hear again so I can double check it since we just turned my younger one’s seat (he two and nearly 40lbs ~ weight limit for rear facing in his current seat)…tip that in forward facing the strap should be at or above the shoulders. Thanks.

  29. Never leave the handle of an infant car seat up (and with toys hanging from it) when installed in the car! Follow the instructions of your specific carseat for where the handle should be while in the vehicle.

  30. Learned when grandbaby being released from hospital, that it is not safe to use the neck support. always thought that was a given to use one to support the infant’s head, but apparently is not safe. Would love to win one of these for my grandchild.

  31. This looks amazing. I’d love to try it out. My daughter just turned one and shes definitely not ready to be forward facing. Im having a time finding a seat shes comfortable in.

  32. If you ever have any questions in regards to installation, just go to your nearest highway patrol office they are always glad to help for your child’s safety

  33. Keep your baby rear-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight limit for the rear-facing mode of your convertible car seat!

  34. Don’t forget the car seat liner under the car seat, it eases wear and tear on the seat, plus catches spills and crumbs. How does a newborn/infant even make crumbs when they don’t eat solid foods? I have no idea, but it happens.

  35. I was reminded about removing bulky clothing like coats before putting the child in the car seat – with winter approaching I need to be diligent about this with my little ones.

  36. Look at the label on your car seat to make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height. Your car seat has an expiration date – usually around six years. Find and double check the label to make sure it’s still safe.

  37. 1) Keep child rear facing for as long as possible preferrably 2 yrs +.
    2) For rear facing, car seat harness strap should be threaded at or below the child’s shoulders

  38. As a carseat tech, one of the things we make sure to teach families is to keep bulky clothes out of the carseat, as well as those bunting bags for infants.

  39. After the car seat is installed, you should not be able to move the car seat base side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.

  40. remove winter coats in a car seat – we always had coats on, the winters are -40C and such and I certainly wouldn’t sit in a car without a jacket on and am not really sure I would want a child to sit in the back seat of a vehicle without a jacket on. I think its weird actually. Am I the only one ?

  41. Always doubles check to make sure car seat is installed correctly every time a child is put in and the car moves!!! rear facing till age 2

  42. I stay up to date on carseat safety. The chest clip “rule” is the one that I think is the most overlooked, coupled with loose straps, it’s a recipe for disaster!

  43. Rear face as long as possible, 5 point harness as long as possible. My daughter preaches this to everyone she knows. She is very passionate about carseat safety. She has 3 children and she has seats, I [grandma] have seats and her husband all have seats in our cars. She has a 7yr, 5yr and 2yr. Safety, safety, safety!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  44. My favorite tip is, keep them in a 5 point harness for as long as possible! But all tips are great, some even that I had no idea about and definitely were doing wrong. Thank you for that!

  45. 3/4 carseats are installed incorrectly. That’s way too many!! After being in an accident that changed our lives, (thankfully long BEFORE our LO was born) I cannot stress the importance of safety enough!!! It’s really THAT IMPORTANT!!

  46. Don’t add anything that didn’t come with the seat as it hasn’t been safety tested with the seat. Companies market all sorts of accessories for the carseat and I had no idea they weren’t safe until I was researching prior to having my son in April. 5 months and no ad ons, one safe baby boy I have.

  47. Rear facing till at least 2!!! Most car seats do not have rear facing height limits only weight limits but I know tons of people that say their barely 1 year old was just too tall.

  48. My baby has almost outgrown his infant carseat and this britax looks so easy to install, I would love to win this for me and my sister in law who just had a baby 4 days ago. Please!

  49. Pull the tail of the LATCH strap back into the car seat (rather than up or out away from the car seat) to make tightening much easier!

  50. Many RF convertible seats can be installed at a more upright angle for an older child, leaving more room in the front seat and allowing older children to be more comfortable.

  51. 75% misuse rate! So scary! I knew to keep them in a 5 point harness as long as possible. My 5 year old complains endlessly about it but sorry pal! You’ve got a ways to go. 🙂

  52. I always have the fire department put in our children’s car seat’s. They are trained to install them properly and have been very friendly with providing training on pepper fit and placement

  53. I learned about harness height. Rear Facing, at or below shoulders. Forward facing, at or above the shoulders. I never knew that good thing I watched the video! Thank you for all of your educational videos and reviews of products. I watch them all the time.

  54. This seems like common sense now, but I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to put thick coats on your child until last winter. I’m glad I’m aware now, so we won’t do that this winter!

  55. (Rear Facing) straps need to be placed at or below my child’s shoulders (Forward Facing) the straps need to be placed at or above my child’s shoulders

  56. Rear facing for as long as possible. My 19-month is still rear facing, but his britax car seat expires at the end of this year. We have had 2 Britax – LOVE them! So happy this giveaway is open to us Canadians! Thank you 🙂

  57. When testing for movement, use your non dominant hand and tug at the beltpath only. Less than 1″ side to side and forward and back and you are good!

  58. Use the seatbelt or lower anchor straps when installing your seat, never both!

    Our family really needs a new seat and soon! This would be the best to win!

  59. My tip is follow direction for installation and weight guide lines. Take advantage of safety checks given by police and fire stations.

  60. Wow! The new install on the Britax is amazing! I can not begin to explain how exhausting it has been to install our Frontier and Boulevard anytime we need to transport it to other cars! Having a third baby, he new installation would make life so much easier for this momma of three little ones to be. Thank you for the demo video and yes!!!!!!! I agree completely that you should check daily to make sure the car seat is still installed properly, we had other kids playing in the vehicle and they unfastened the seat belt securing the car seats! Was horrified when we found out, drove a long distance before we realized it,

  61. I didn’t realize they needed to stay rear facing until 2 years old…I thought it was based on height and weight specifications! Good to know that the labels have all that info right on the car seat.

  62. Something that I had never knew until recently, that straps should be at/below shoulders when rear facing and at/above the shoulders for forward facing.

  63. Extended rear facing is so much safer. My kiddos are peanuts so they can rf for many years in the Britax seats. I love the marathon I have and with baby #3 on the way, i would love another one.

  64. Car seat safety anchors can only be used if child is under 40-45 lbs, then the seat belt can be used. It varies based on the vehicle anchor limits.

  65. Keep child rear facing until 2 years of age. Also, no bulky clothing or jackets. Use a blanket instead of puffy coat to ensure child straps are snug and properly secure.

  66. No costs in car seats! Chest clips should be at armpit level. Tighten those harness straps to pass the pinch test. And, rear face until your child outgrows the seat!!!!!

  67. Pay attention to your car’s weight limit for Latch – you can’t assume that latch is fine as long as your kid still fits the harness.

  68. My daughter is a car seat technician and she has taught me so much already, but I’m still learning too. One of the most recent things I’ve learned is buckling a booster seat in even when there’s no child in it, so it does not become a projectile. As a grandma, having the click tight car seat would make it easier for me to transport my grandchildren safely!

  69. Rear facing is the way to go until child is at least 2! This is a beautiful carseat and my daughter could really really use it! Thank you!

  70. I never thought to check the car seat install, daily!?!
    It’s so true that an older child could accidentally unclick the wrong seatbelt!

  71. Something I already knew….It’s my responsibility as a parent tonsure my child’s safety at all times while driving, and to make sure to hear the safety belts lock CLICK!

  72. Something I already knew…It’s our responsibility as parents to ensure our child’s safety while driving and make sure you hear the locks click!

  73. Rear facing for the first year or longer!

    Oh my goodness! This is the exact car seat my son’s Physiotherapist wants us to get due to outgrowing his first seat and hypotonia (low muscle tone) requiring adjustable recline until he’s stronger. It would be so, so, so great if we won this!

  74. Car seats have height limits in addition to weight limits and are most often outgrown by height before weight. It’s important to know ALL of the limits on your car seat to ensure that you’re using it safely.

  75. My daughter–the mother of my grandsons (who are both still using carseats–told me about having the chest-clips at the right height. She also makes me tighten up the straps every time.

  76. The one that I think most people forget, and I’m always reminding myself of is NO bulky clothing (coats, sweaters, jackets) while in the carseat! This is SO important!

  77. I did not know that 75% of car seats are not installed safe or the child is not in safe. I knew that the age of rear facing has gone up to 2 but what I don’t get is where can a 1-2 year old put their legs without being scrunched into the seat

  78. Do not use extra attachments or extra products when using a carseat. And always read the Manufactures Warranty there is a lot of useful stuff in there.

  79. No bulky clothes (winter coat) under the straps. Rear facing as long as possible. Would love to win this for my son 🙂 Thank You

  80. I learned that rear facing car seats are not just for infants or newborns. You should keep your child rear facing for as long as possible.

  81. It takes a great effort getting my 5 year old in and out of the car quickly for school drop off/pick up….but He is in a 5 point harness and will stay until he reaches the 65 lb weight limit! Thanks for the assurance!

  82. Read the user’s guide and manual….you would think it would be obvious but so many parents just install the car seat on their own

  83. People really do need to read the manual and labels that come with car seats, so they will be aware of how to properly install and secure their children. I get so angry when I see a child improperly restrained in their car seat- if they even have one! It would also be amazing if more parents would understand that car seats are not made according to age. They are made according to height and weight. People give us a hard time because our 5-year old is in a 5-point harness, but I don’t care. I can drive better knowing he is as safe as possible. Thanks for always putting your videos out there for people to view.

  84. For my Britax Boulevard, you have to push down on the seat, and put the strap through an opening in the seat itself to secure it tightly enough.

  85. No coats! Stinks when it’s Winter and freezing raining and you have to stand outside with the car door open to put on a coat, but better to be safe right?!

  86. I love car seat safety! My biggest tip is to rear face until at least 2, and make sure the harness straps are at or below the shoulders when RF.

  87. Clip at chest height and the straps should be snug against the child, you should not be able to pinch any of the strap material.

  88. As cooler weather begins I find myself reminding friends and family of the importance of not having bulky coats on children in car seats 🙂

  89. Rear facing carseats are the safest for children up to or over the age of 2, as long as you can use them according to specifications.

  90. There’s very little I don’t already know, I’m one of those annoyingly safety conscious mamas lol. So here’s something I already knew, that when forward facing the straps should be positioned at or above the child’s shoulders.

  91. Your seat if installed secure should not move more then an inch side to side and front to back. Thanks to click tight this should no longer be an issue!

  92. Never place a winter jacket on the child and harnessed in the car seat as that effects how close the straps sit against the child. Instead, use blankets to cover the child and seat to keep the child warm.

  93. for cold weather install child in seat and put jacket on child backwards over clipped in child. Keep your kid warm and safe at the same time.

  94. we love Britax and are a Britax family from our baby carrier to our stroller, and current carseat for our 2 year old, now we need a new one for our 3 month old for when he is ready to transition from his carrier. Hope we win 🙂

  95. These are all wonderful and much appreciated comments for a first time mom who was pretty clueless about car seat safety. This would be so awesome to win! I am expecting and my very best friend just had her first baby. How exciting!!!

  96. Snug is best! Too many parents do not tighten the straps enough. They think they are hurting them ha! It’s a SAFETY contraption, NOT A JOY RIDE VESSEL! !!! There are too many other points to make that parents do wrong, and you said only 1.

  97. Wonderful Safety tips – Learned that 75% of car seats are incorrectly installed, keep your child rear facing until 2, chest clip needs to be near their armpit, no bulky clothing. Would love to win this giveaway with new baby on the way. thanks!

  98. Oh and a good safety tip is to always do the pinch test with the harness strap each time you put your child in the seat. You shouldn’t be able to pinch the fabric of the strap is how you know it’s tight enough.

  99. Should keep babies in rear facing car seat until at least 2 years old. Rear facing the harness straps are to be at or below shoulder height. No bulky clothing or blankets.

  100. Find out the distance limits from top of the head to the top of the seat for your infant car seat…. they easily share the height requirements, but your kiddo might have a long torso. It’ usually safe to have at least 1 inch from top of the head to the top of the car seat. Once they pass that… might be time for a convertible seat. Also, it doesn’t matter if their legs hang off the seat, that’s totally normal and still safe 🙂

  101. I would LOVE to have this car seat for my son. No bulky clothes or jackets in the car seat during winter time … Just bring it with you and put it on when going into the cold or store.

  102. I learned that you use either latch or belt to secure, but not both. I love that the new click tight takes the guess work out of securely and safely installing a seat. It’s also pretty awesome that it only takes about 15 seconds to install it. Our little will soon outgrow her infant seat and since we love not only the britax safety ratings, easy instal and above and beyond customer care, we will be getting her next seat from them as well. We’d love to win one for her and a friend!

  103. No bulky clothes in carseats. Make sure the center buckle is situated in the right section of the abdomen. And follow car seat manufarctor recommendations before facing forward. Now please please please please please let me win 🙂 Love Britax brand and currently in the market for a convertible car seats.

  104. Always make sure your children are in a car seat. In EvERY car they ride in. Facing the rear is the saftest way for them to ride.

  105. I don’t have a car seat for my son that is an upright one and he is already two and a half. We don’t own a car but any time we fly or drive I have to borrow one and it’s a bother so it would be great to have one of my own.

  106. Never put bulky clothes under the buckles (including poofy dresses!!)

    Chest strap at armpit level.

    No pinching on the straps.

    Also no after market arm pieces or headrests.

  107. We had our infant seat bases installed with both seatbelt and LATCH for a while–so embarrassing. I guess it’s like the “double condom” misconception some people still have.