Car seats and travel

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2008
Car seats and travel
9
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 7:29am

At the time of travel, our daughter will be 20 months old. She is now 14 months old and 22 pounds. My husband does not want to take the car seat with us on vacations. I say we need it at our destination for short cab rides in Mexico (10 min---30 min). Our car seat is a Britax Marathon, which we'd have to uninstall from our car and reinstall in cabs. He says it's too much trouble to drag it around and have to keep reinstalling it for short cab rides. What do you ladies think? Am I being too overprotective? Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2006
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 8:25am

I do not think you are being overprotective at all!

 

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 8:42am

I'd definitely be taking a seat on the trip.

First, traveling with a "lap child" on a plane is not a terribly good idea. Turbulence that is no big deal for an adult can kill an unsecured lap child. While we'd all like to think that we could keep a hold on our little ones, the truth of the matter is that we might not be able to. Lap kids are basically seen as potential projectiles in situations like that. They can be harmed and can harm others. For example: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=7461586 Adults on that flight broke limbs! Can you even imagine what would have happened to an unsecured infant?!? The NTSB has even put out a new press release encouraging parents to use car seats on planes for little ones: http://www.ntsb.gov/pressrel/2010/100527.html (In fact, the days of lap babies even being allowed at all are probably coming to an end in the next couple of years because of risks like this.) So really, you want to make sure to buy baby a seat and secure them properly in a car seat during the flight. (Besides, you don't want to be checking a car seat anyway. You never know what state it'll be returned in.)

Otherwise, yes, you still want to have a seat when you get to your destination. I'm not sure about car seat laws in Mexico...but regardless, baby would be safer properly secured.

I probably wouldn't take the Marathon though. Given your LO's small size, my first thought would be to get an infant bucket that has a 30-35 lb weight limit and a taller shell and use that for the trip. Make sure you get one that can be installed without the base. Those are usually pretty quick installations and the seats are easy to tote around. My second choice would be to pick up a cheaper, light seat for travel...like a Cosco Scenera or Safety First Avenue. Either of those weigh less than your MA and are physically smaller and easier to manage.

But yes, I'd be taking a seat. And if I couldn't take a seat with me...well, LO and I probably would not be going anywhere. Seat safety is a big deal for me, and it's not something I'm willing to compromise on.

Sarah

Mom, doc student, CPST...generally busy lady!


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Sarah Mom, doc student, CPST...generally busy lady!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 8:43am

Are you going by plane? I would strongly suggest buying a seat for her and taking the car seat on the plane. Of course, it is safer to have her in a car seat on the plane, but also for me, my daughter was more comfortable and was able to sleep.

At 20 months she will be very active and holding her on your lap might be a bit of a challenge on a long plane trip. With my dd (she was 18 mos flew cross country) I used the car seat and told her it was just like a car, she had to sit in her seat and mom & dad used seat belts too.

Cathie mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2008
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:14am
Yes, we are going by plane. Because she will be under 2 years old, my husband insists she goes as a "lap child." I know it is going to be very challenging to do this because she is getting more and more active, but he insists and has already not purchased a seat for her but just for us. I am tired of arguing with him and don't know what else to do. He is normally very protective of our daughter, so I am confused as to why he is seemingly lax with car seat issues. At least when we have to purchase a seat for her, I may be able to convince him that she will sit better in the car seat on the plane than being merely strapped into a seat that is too big for her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:40am
Can you show your husband the story about the turbulence and the NTSB's press release? Maybe some hard evidence about how dangerous it could be might help convince him.
Sarah

Mom, doc student, CPST...generally busy lady!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-30-2008
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:46am
I agree and will show it to him, but he said that when we were kids, car seats weren't even invented and we survived. True, but why take a chance? He thinks I am overprotective in general and neurotic but car seats are a basic safety issue. He said that if the plane is going to crash, a
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-02-2004
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 9:55am
I agree, definitely take some sort of seat. I'd go buy a scenera to use on vacation and then have on hand as a back up seat. They are SO much lighter than a marathon.
Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2007
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 11:16am

I hear that "but we survived" from parents all the time. I usually ask them if they were ever in car crashes when they were kids. Most of the time the answer is "no". I ask them if they've ever thought about the kids who weren't in seats and WERE in crashes. Because those are the kids who didn't (and don't) survive. They are not here to speak and to advocate for us to use the safety features that we now have...but I bet if they could speak, they'd be all for the use of child restraints.

I'd stress to your husband that a car seat on a plane is not as much about protection in a big, firey crash where nobody would be likely to survive...but about protection during turbulence or a minor problem. Those are the things that are much more dangerous to unrestrained babies than to adults (who are at least belted in). I've heard people talk about flight attendants instructing passengers with lap kids to hold them on the ground during those types of situations...not to protect the kids (because it doesn't do that), but rather to keep the baby from becoming a projectile and injuring someone else. That's pretty scary that the concern at that point is not about protecting a kiddo. So yeah, seats are important.

Plus, a seat is important for when you get there. Even if you're only talking about short trips in cabs...you want that kiddo protected. Accidents happen on short rides, just the same way that they do with long ones.

Another option might be contacting a CPST in your area (there's instructions in the folder above) and asking them if they might talk to your DH about the importance of seat safety both on planes and in cars on vacation. Sometimes having an "expert" speak on the matter can carry extra weight.

I'm not saying any of this to try to stress you out further. But rather, I'm hoping this might give you more evidence to share with your partner. I understand not wanting to fight about it, and you get to make those choices about where to draw lines and how you handle your relationship with your partner.

(This is me getting on my soapbox for a minute, so feel free to skip it if it just causes more stress...but...) For me, DH & I discussed long ago that when it comes to safety issues, if there is significant evidence and warnings for something, we will do the safest thing possible within the situation. Because it's not about being overly protective, it's about doing the best we can with the knowledge that we have. And in terms of car seats, it's about survival. That is a place where I will not bend for anything. If DH (or anyone else who might be transporting my kiddo) does not comply with my seat rules or argues about it, we won't be going. And DH also knows that if he tried to pull that "we're just not gonna do it" junk with me, I make it abundantly clear that I would then hold him 100% responsible for ANYTHING bad that happened and would come after him with a fury. (And yes, he rightly believes that I would personally pursue legal avenues to hold him responsible.) I know not everybody is passionate about car seat issues, and for some folks this is not an issue where they choose to take a stand. Everyone gets to make those choices. For me, this is one of those issues that is a deal breaker. At least I know that if something bad were to happen, I've done the very best that I can, which is all I can ask.


Sarah

Mom, doc student, CPST...generally busy lady!


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Sarah Mom, doc student, CPST...generally busy lady!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999
Tue, 06-08-2010 - 12:40pm

You're in a tough spot, I completely understand my dh can be stubborn at times too.

If you can talk him into taking the car seat on vacation with you, is there a chance you could talk him into checking it at the gate?

The reason I say that is usually gate checked bags aren't handled as roughly as regular bags. And if you have the car seat at the gate, you could check at the gate to see if there are any empty seats on the plane your dd could use (since you have your seat with you just take it on and put her in it).

I admit this would be a long shot these days as many planes are over sold.

Just a thought.

Cathie mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs