Why Grandparents Might Need a Car Seat Safety Refresher

A survey of 550 US grandparents reveals that 60 percent haven’t installed a car seat in at least 20 years.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Updated October 18, 2022
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Image: Rido | Shutterstock

As childcare costs continue to rise, grandparents are stepping in to save the day. In a recent poll of 550 US grandparents, 66 percent said they take an active role in childcare, caring for their grandchild or grandchildren at least once a month, once a week or full-time. With all the back and forth between mom and dad and grandparents, along with daily activities, grandparents end up spending a lot of time with kiddos in the car—and thus a lot of time finagling with car seats.

By and large, car seats are complicated. From installation to making sure baby is buckled in correctly, there are plenty of things to remember to ensure baby has a safe ride. To get a better idea of how grandparents handle this safety stress car seat maker Chicco asked the same group of aforementioned grandparents about their experience with car seats.

The survey revealed that nearly 3 in 4 grandparents are very or extremely confident when it comes to installing a car seat for their grandchild, despite the fact that a majority (66 percent) haven’t installed a car seat in at least 20 years.

It’s not the grandparents haven’t done this before or aren’t capable of securing baby in a car seat. It’s just that in the fast-evolving car seat industry, 20 years can lead to many differences between the car seats grandparents dealt with versus the ones their children use today. This education gap is even more prevalent when you consider that 47 percent of the grandparents surveyed noted that they did or will receive help installing a car seat.

So what can you do to ensure your Mom or Dad has the confidence to transport baby safely? Chicco child passenger safety technician Josh Dilts shares his favorite tips and resources for proper car seat installation and use below.

Learn the growth stages.

Become familiar with the latest guidelines on when to switch stages of a car seat, from rear- to forward- facing and booster. Chicco’s OneFit ClearTex All-in-One car seat is designed to fit from birth through booster, making it a good option for caregivers to transition through all phases as their grandchildren grow.

Use resources for help.

As a resource for grandparents when questions arise, Chicco offers the latest guidelines, installation tutorials and caregiver FAQs on If additional assistance is needed, local fire departments will typically have a CPST on hand that can check if your car seat is installed correctly.

Stay up to date.

Knowing many grandparents haven’t installed car seats in decades, it’s important to know that car seats have expiration dates not just to ensure the car seat meets today’s safety standards, but also because plastic becomes brittle over time, compromising safety. Always check the expiration date to be sure the car seat is safe to use.

Consider upgraded features.

Chicco offers a selection of car seats that are GREENGUARD Gold Certified for low chemical emissions that contribute to healthier air quality around baby. Chicco has also re-launched some top-sellers with new, innovative ClearTex fabrics that have no added chemicals and are inherently fire-resistant.

Grandparents often aren’t the only ones who could use a refresher in car seat safety, parents can too. Consider reviewing these 8 Car Seat Mistakes Most Parents Are Making and learn more about What You Need to Know about Car Sear Safety. You can also check out Chicco’s line of easily convertible car seats and safety tips at

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