Everything you need to know about Car Seat Safety in the United States
Keeping your children traveling as safe as possible is our number one focus here at Diono. Our team has put together this useful blog to give you a great overview of the things you need to know about Car Seat Safety in the United States.
At Diono we understand that all families are different, but there is a car seat for every single one. The importance of choosing the right car seat is unparalleled and using the right car seat for your baby or young child is found to reduce the risk of death or serious injury by 70%.
Whether you’re choosing your first infant carrier, upgrading to an all-in-one convertible car seat or graduating to a booster Diono recommends that you visit trusted sources such as NHTSA or Safe Kids to become educated about what is right for you and your family. Upon purchasing any car seat, be sure to study the instruction manual and any other resources provided so that you’re confident in installing and using your car seat.
You may also find it beneficial to research your local Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) and schedule an online or in-person appointment, during which you’ll practice alongside a trained expert, giving you the ultimate reassurance that your car seat installed properly, and your child is traveling safely. Note that although fire departments have been known to offer car seat fitting services, this does not apply to all. If you are scheduling an appointment with your fire department you must ensure that the advisor is a trained CPST, and not offering assistance out of goodwill. Other top tips include checking the state by state laws and regulations. You can read about that here.
For more information about how to find a CPST visit here.
There are many things to consider when selecting your car seat. Since 1999 Diono has put the safety and well-being of children first, and we have continued to advocate child safety. In 2006 when we launched the Radian®, the original 3-across all-in-one convertible car seat, we recommended rear-facing for as long as possible. That message is as important to us today as it was then.
As recommended by child passenger safety experts and national independent regulators, Diono recommends that all children should travel in their car seats following the guidelines below
A child should be rear-facing for as long as possible, ideally up to 50 lbs
After rear-facing as long as possible, move to forward-facing with a 5-point safety harness, ideally until 65 lbs
After your child reaches 65 lbs, graduate to high back booster secured using the adult seat belts until 120 lbs
(Please consult your car seat’s instruction manual to learn the weight and height restrictions for your car seat as these are different for each manufacturer)
We commit to recommending this not only to our customers but to users of any car seat, by checking the weight and height limitations for each mode of their seat from birth to booster. The Diono 2020 Radian® range features a 5-point harness and Safe Stop®* device which, when forward-facing, absorb and distribute the force of impact.
To learn more about proper harnessing, users should consult their manufacturer’s seat manual.
To view, Diono manuals see here or to find our FAQs here.
*Safe Stop® is suitable for use when forward-facing up to 40 lbs.
Why rear-facing for longer?
We’ve collected some figures and statistics that highlight the benefits and importance of rear-facing, which you can read here. Extensive scientific data has been studied and collected to support rear-facing, notably regarding children’s spinal development. Although there are recommendations out there stating age 2 is appropriate to switch to forward-facing, studies have found that even at age 3 there is only a 50% chance of a child’s vertebra reaching its full strength.
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Diagram shows dissipation of energy on impact when a child is rear-facing
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Diagram shows dissipation of energy on impact when a child is forward-facing
This research, combined with our ongoing commitment to safer travel for child passengers, means Diono is continuously reviewing and updating our range of all-in-one convertible car seats and boosters to meet the very latest regulations and advice.
All Diono 2020 Radian® models can be used rear-facing for even longer up to approx. 4 years (50 lbs). You can learn more about the safety specifications of the Radian® Series here.
When we launched our latest Radian® models, Radian® Q Series, we introduced Safe+® Engineering; a combination of rigorous testing and safety features to exceed our existing safety standards. Using our original American Engineering alongside the latest European Side Impact Technology, our team created an all-new 12 position headrest to improve head containment in the event of a collision and introduced the Safe+® anti-rebound bar that improves rear-facing performance by 50%.
We continued to test Radian® Q Series over and above national federal standards, as we do all Radian® models, with additional testing exclusive to the Q Series including roll over and rear impact testing. To learn more about Safe+® Engineering, see here.
When your child has outgrown the weight, height or size limits of their all-in-one convertible seat you will need to decide whether your child travels in a high back or backless booster. Diono recommends all children should travel in a high back booster until 120 lbs, or as otherwise stated by the user manual. If a high back booster is not a practical option, a backless booster seat is better than no booster seat.
If you’re ready to consider a booster seat, here are the key features to take into account
Portability or protection – high back boosters offer head and shoulder support and protection but will mean the seat weighs more than a lightweight backless booster.
Does it convert? – You may wish to choose a high back booster that converts to backless. Diono recommends traveling in a high back booster until 120 lbs.
Belt-Positioning vs Harness – if your booster does not have a harness, please consider if your child is ready to independently buckle themselves in using the seatbelt properly
Diono designed and engineered the all-new Monterey® 4DXT so that a parent or caregiver could have a single booster seat that fits a child until 120lb. With more than 23 improvements over the Monterey® XT and class-leading side impact performance through the use of multiple layers of side impact protection, the Monterey 4DXT has become another Diono favorite.
If you have any questions, please call our customer service team on 855-463-4666. They can give you any advice that you need about Diono products. We also have trained CPSTs as part of our team if you would like to speak to one.
If you have purchased your product on diono.com the Diono difference means that you can book a 121 virtual installation meeting and one of our trained professionals will take you through every step.