How Long to Use a Car Seat?

Updated on March 05, 2007
A.B. asks from Lansing, IL
5 answers

I have a five year old daughter and I was wondering how long she has to sit in a car seat. I once heard that a kid has to be in a car seat until the age of 10. Is this true? Also in July we're driving from Indiana to Idaho it's about 1700 miles and takes 2 days anyone have any suggestions on how to keep a hyper, inpatient 5 year old from making us all miserable the whole time we're on the road?

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answers from Chicago on

I got lots of info from Including the two links below.

The last one tells you that the child needs to be atleast 8 years old or 4'9" tall before they can sit without a child safety seat and breaks down which seat is necessary for them. The first link gives you lots of links to look up information to keep your child and you safe in a car.

We take a trip to Arkansas every year with three children 13, 5, and 2 is there ages on our last trip. If you can afford one of those dual dvd players for the car that is seriously the best bet if you have more than one child. The reason for the dual is becuase they can watch the same movie from two different screans or they can watch two different movies with earphones if they like. Take all their favorite movies so they can enjoy watching them. We also stop a lot and let the children stretch their legs. Some of your rest areas do provide child play areas for the kids and letting them play for 45 minutes before putting them back in the car gets you to your stop a little latter but you will have less headaches as well. The dvd player really is a god send when your traveling. Even if you don't let your children watch a lot of tv at home giving them a treat like this on a long drive will make your life a whole lot easier. Toys and crayons fall and you can't always turn around and help your child find them but the movie stays where it is and is at the top, behind your chair and is easier to access to change a movie.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi - I have to agree with what Janet said about the DVD. I bought one for my daughter when we drove to Florida. It was a beautiful thing! We also got some new movies that she hadn't seen & that helped out a lot. You may also consider one of the low back booster seats. My daughter is almost 6 & she feels like a "big girl" in this. It really doesn't look like a car seat, so she doesn't feel like a baby and can almost put her seatbelt on herself. I, of course, just check it to make sure it latched :o) Good luck to you!



answers from Chicago on

This is going to sound weird - sometimes we will tickle our kids on long road trips which helps them to expend their restless energy. It totally works...if your kids are ticklish...and in a reasonable mood.



answers from Chicago on

We have two boys at 9&3, we also go on long trips. The DVD player are the best. My kids love to learn about were we're going so I try to find video that show them different things about the paces we'll see on the way. and try to stop at the rest stop so they can walk and play for a little while. A quick game of tag works great to ttire them out Have a great trip.



answers from Chicago on

Hi A.-Car seat law is 49" tall/80lbs or 8 years old ( I think) I definately know that once they hit 80 lbs they don't need the carseat/booster seat anymore. Let me tell you, I've tried everything possible to keep my inquisitive 4 year old occupied in the car. We found that those video now players (you can get them at walmart for under $30) are wonderful! They have all kinds of videos for them to watch...or we use those crayola markers that only mark on that special paper..we play games with them. I have my son draw a picture of something he sees outside the car and I have to guess. He loves those kinds of games..or we just simply play "I spy". Good luck and safe traveling--M.

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