Do Car Seats Float? Here’s The Truth

Do car seats float

Have you ever been worried about going on a road trip whilst having your baby on board? “What if my car unexpectedly crashed into a lake? Would I be able to make it out safe with my baby? Do car seats float?” Now, that sounds like a rather pessimistic thought to have while on vacation! But most parents do consider every possibility, especially while travelling with a toddler. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Well, if you thought your seat belt was the only thing that would keep you safe during your road trip, then you’re wrong! Did you know that your car seat could be your ultimate lifesaver during a freak car accident? At this point, you may have numerous questions crossing your mind. Well, worry not! You will find all your answers here!

Safety of car seats

“How safe are regular car seats?” you ask. Well, to answer your question, it mostly depends on the type of car you use. Regular car seats are made of a variety of materials, with some only serving an aesthetic purpose rather than safety. Most car seats are built using materials such as nylon, leather, rubberized hair, latex foam or polyurethane foam. Studies have shown that car seats made of polyurethane foam were found to be the most durable, comfortable and safest compared to those made of other materials.

Do car seats float in water?

Since most car seats are made of foam, they have enough buoyancy to float in water. “But, do car seats really save lives?” you wonder. When you encounter a road accident, your seat belt and cushioned car seat might actually help keep you safe from major impact and injury. However, if you find yourself in a water accident, then regular car seats, being non-detachable, may not prove beneficial at all!

To be on the safer side, it is always best to customize your car seats, especially if you’re a parent! Buying special seats which are floatable and detachable will help keep both you and your child safe during unexpected mishaps.

The need for child car seats

If you’re a parent, then investing in a child car seat is a must! Child car seats are usually built using extremely strong and highly durable materials which are designed in such a way that they provide both comfort and safety to the child. Most car seats comprise of 4 major components namely flexible buckles, shoulder and anchor straps, a frame and seat fillings usually filled with foam.

The laws for kids in car seats vary from country to country. In the UK and Europe for example, children below 3 years of age must always use a child car seat, booster seat or booster cushion while travelling. Although it is not mandatory for kids aged 3 years or above to use one, it is always advisable for children to use these seats until they are 12 years old or 135 centimetres tall.

If you’re living in the US, it is very important that you familiarize yourself and stay up-to-date with the latest child car seat laws. Each state in the US has been allowed by the government to craft their own laws. Moreover, with the laws being updated regularly, it becomes quite tedious for families who are planning to change their location or are travelling interstate on a regular basis. For example, the same laws that were applicable when your older child was an infant may no longer be applicable for your toddler today!

As complicated as it may sound, it is true that a number of states in the US also have child car seat laws which come with a list of requirements which require either your child or your car seat to meet each and every requirement on the list. In few other states, your car seat may also need to undergo the long process of being certified and federally approved!

In general, kids who are below 5 years while those who are between 5 and 8 years would have to use a booster seat. Seat belts on the other hand must only be used by kids who are aged between 6 and 15 years.

Do child car seats float?

So you have gone all the way and managed to get your toddler a brand new car seat. The next question is : “Do they float?” Well, the simple answer is : Yes, they do! Although studies regarding the floating ability of child car seats are limited, it is quite obvious that most of these foam filled car seats are capable of staying afloat in water. But the downside would be that the construction of these car seats along with the weight of the baby would cause them to float head-first in water. Now you wouldn’t even want to imagine your baby being stuck in a position like that would you?!

Besides, a lack of research means that there is in fact no guarantee that your baby car seat would float, unless you test it of course! It is highly recommended that you buy your car seat from a verified company and gather enough information regarding its safety features, such as floatability prior to making a purchase!

Moreover, position and manner of installation of these car seats would also largely determine the safety of your toddler. Rear facing car seats are deemed to be 5 times safer as compared to front facing car seats since they protect the baby’s head from front impact. However, as disappointing as it may sound, a study conducted in Sweden showed that only 17% of children aged 4 years travelled rear facing while 2.5% of them were found travelling without a seat belt!

Are swim chairs reliable?

Well, as a responsible parent, it would definitely be a wise decision to keep a swim chair handy, just in case your baby’s car seat fails to detach or stay afloat! In the unfortunate event that your car careens into a body of water, your escape time would probably range from a few seconds to a few minutes, before you end up in a death trap! In such a situation, waiting around for your child’s car seat to float would be too risky, especially if you’re unsure about its function.

On the other hand, a swim chair would definitely be your baby’s lifesaver in tragic situations like these! There is no doubt that a good quality inflatable swim chair is capable of floating in water. However, it is also equally important to ensure that you buy a swim chair that is the right size for your toddler. Having a chair that is too big or too small would fail to serve its purpose and would equate to not owning one at all!

Which child car seat is considered the safest?

The huge demand for child car seats and the wide variety of choices available in the market today makes choosing the perfect car seat for your toddler a tedious task, especially if you’re a new parent! While all manufacturers claim to be selling the ‘best quality’ products, there are obviously some which are better and safer than others. Choosing the perfect car seat is crucial for your child’s safety. But when options are plenty, how do you make a choice?

Car seats come in various styles and categories depending on the weight and age of the child. Combination seats were found to be the most popular of the lot, with styles such as

being the top brands among others in the field.

Fairly expensive designs such as

compliant and comes with a number of features including a 360 degree rotation is considered to be an excellent option, mostly for younger kids.

However, if you’re looking for car seats for your older kids, why not opt for designs such as

which come in brilliant eye-catching colours?

Well, once you’ve chosen a top-quality car seat for your baby, why worry?  It’s now time to enjoy a happy and carefree vacation with your young ones!

1 comment
  1. Nice article. Indeed worth exploring floating seats especially for those, who live close to water body. Unique way of thinking, not many articles are published on this subject and hence lots of information.

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