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VERIFY: Answering your questions about car seats

It’s Child Passenger Safety Week. The goal is to make sure your child is in the correct car seat

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The week of Sept. 19-25 is Child Passenger Safety Week, with the goal to make sure all children are in the correct car seat, that it's properly installed and that it's registered with the manufacturer to ensure parents and guardians receive important safety updates. 

Many parents, especially new parents, have questions about their child's car seat. WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team is answering some of those questions in the name of safety.

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THE SOURCES 

THE QUESTION 

Can you use an old car seat from a friend?

THE ANSWER

This needs context.

It is not recommended to get an old car seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a checklist if you’re thinking about using a second-hand car seat.

It includes making sure it’s never been in a crash. All the labels are still on the seat, and that it has no recalls.

“We don't really recommend if there's car seats or one category where we're pretty hardcore about that we don't recommend second hand use of the car seats, because there could be missing items," Colella said. 

THE QUESTION

Does a higher-priced car seat mean it's going to be safer? 

THE ANSWER

This is false.

No, car seats — no matter the price — meet a minimum standard set by the federal safety measures. 

“You know, price is not the only factor," Colella said. "It's definitely a consideration for parents because parents know what they can afford. All car seats have to meet the same stringent federal standards, regardless of the price. So you know, whether you're buying a $50 car seat or a $300 car seat, they have to meet that same minimum."

THE QUESTION

When should my child switch from rear-facing to front-facing? 

THE ANSWER

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, kids should ride rear-facing until they’re at least 1 year old. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children should ride in rear-facing car safety seats until they're at least 2 years old.

Both agencies note there is a chance kids could ride rear-facing all the way until they’re three or four if they haven’t reached the height or weight limit to move to forward-facing.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.