Why It's Hard to Install a Car Seat

Not all car seats fit properly in all vehicles. This is how to make sure your car seat works for yours.

Kelly Zimmerman said she did her homework when buying her baby's first car seat. After hours of research online and several trips to different stores, she settled on a fairly expensive model. But when she got home, Kelly was surprised how awkwardly it fit in her SUV.

"First I tried putting pool noodles underneath it to level it out, then resorted to using a rolled up towel," says Zimmerman. "It works, but it really doesn't give you much peace of mind as a parent."

Kelly is not alone. Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine have looked at 3,186 combinations of car seats and vehicles, and share Kelly's frustration. "Actually, it's very common for car seat manufacturers to suggest homemade modifications like that," says John Bolte, Ph.D., who is leading the research. "All car seats you buy are safe, but not all of them may fit into your particular car."

As a result, Bolte is sharing the data with car companies and car seat manufacturers to encourage more compatible designs between the two.

Video courtesy of The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Study: Car Seats, Vehicles Not Always A Good Fit

Courtesy of The Ohio State University College of MedicineCopyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.


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