The Car Seat Dangers Putting Your Kids At Risk

The car is one of those places that fills up with stuff quickly when you have a baby. But could some of that stuff be dangerous in a crash? Founder of Tot Squad and certified child safety technician, Jennifer Beall Saxton offers four important items to rethink to keep kids safe in the car.

Properly buckled carseat safety

Tip #1 - Seat Protectors

You may want to preserve the leather (don’t we all!) in your vehicle but be careful with vehicle seat protectors because they can interfere with the installation of your child’s car seat. They can actually make the child’s car seat too loose against the original car seat, which means your baby could be hurt in an accident. 

If you must use a seat protector, make sure you are getting one that is compatible with your child’s car seat. This usually means that the seat protector and car seat come from the same brand, and have been crash tested together. The seat protector might say it is crash tested, but that doesn’t mean it is crash tested with your child’s car seat.

Infant carseat seat protector safety
dangling toys carseat safety

Tip #2 – Dangling Toys

These toys are fun to buy (and can be a lifesaver) in the car. But, when choosing a toy or accessory that attaches to a child’s car seat, exercise caution. If that accessory has not been crash tested with the exact child seat brand you’re using, then it could invalidate the warranty. 

For example, if you are in an accident, the car seat manufacturer might say they aren’t liable because they don’t know how the accessory impacted the functionality of your seat.

Tip #3 – Hard toys and harder cell phones

It’s really important to take precaution with hard items that could become projectiles in an accident. For example, a two pound tablet times moving at 50 miles per hour = 100 pounds of force in a collision! 

So, make sure you put your cell phones in the glove compartment while driving. If you have an SUV, think about putting your purse or bag in an open center console (if possible) while you’re driving so that all of the loose objects inside don’t go flying in an accident. 

If you want to give your child a toy, try the “ouch test.” If you hit it against your head and it hurts at all, don’t use it in the car. Stick to stuffed animals or small toys that are really light weight!

carseat toys safety
carseat infant head protector safety tip

Tip #4 – Infant Head Support:  

With a newborn, it’s tempting to buy infant head support or “elephant ears” to prop your baby’s head up and prevent it from flopping around. However, a correctly installed car seat is actually reclined to the correct angle to prevent any sort of issues with the head. 

If the infant head support is not the same brand as the seat, it could impact the harness straps pushing the baby up. Those straps could come loose, and the baby could be ejected in an accident. It might look like it’s helpful, but it could end up doing more harm than good.


These tips aren’t meant to scare. They are meant to inform and equip you with safety advice for the road! Still unsure? Contact Tot Squad and their team of certified child passenger safety technicians for virtual car seat support from an expert. 


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This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The views expressed in this article are the views of the expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Kudos.

About the author

Jennifer Saxton is the founder and CEO of Tot Squad, a digital marketplace connecting parents with providers that help make parenting just a little bit easier. From lactation consultants to birth doulas, car seat installation and sleep support, Tot Squad’s marketplace of vetted experts provide parents with peace of mind by connecting them to expert providers.

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